Two types of response layout:

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Thermal Bypass 5.49 MB 38 downloads

Known as thermal bypass, air movement across, within and behind insulation increases...
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Post Fossil Fuel 1.63 MB 26 downloads

Post-Fossil Fuel Building Construction and Materials is an AECB report authored by David...
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Less is More 3.99 MB 30 downloads

LESS IS MORE : Energy security after oil is a report authored by David Olivier and...
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Straw construction in the UK 4.52 MB 31 downloads

Purpose of the document :This document is intended to be a Guide to good practice...
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Climate resilient building in the Global South 0.00 KB downloads

 The Hereford architect helping Pakistan confront climate changeA Hereford-based...
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Dr Huda Elsherif on her Sudanese experience 35.33 KB 85 downloads

 As a Sudanese expat who spent every summer visiting family in the village,...
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Reducing Embodied Carbon in the Built Environment: The Role of Environmental Product Declarations 7.23 MB 20 downloads

Anderson, Jane (2023) PhD thesis The Open University. The embodied carbon of...
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Annual accounts 2022 1.60 MB 33 downloads

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The Matter of a Clean Energy Future 510.94 KB 50 downloads

This is an Editorial Article from Science, by Turner, J.M. (2022) Science, Vol 376,...
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Energy requirements and carbon emissions for a low-carbon energy transition (Nature, 2022) 0.00 KB 46 downloads

Download from Nature: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-33976-5Slameršak,...
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AECB Board Meeting agenda - 15/09/23
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AECB Board Meeting minutes - 09/06/23
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Thermal Bypass

Known as thermal bypass, air movement across, within and behind insulation increases heat loss, causes discomfort and enables mould growth. With the correct knowledge and skills, both in practice and onsite, failures in design and construction can be avoided and deliver buildings that perform as predicted.

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Post Fossil Fuel

Post-Fossil Fuel Building Construction and Materials is an AECB report authored by David Olivier and successfully follows his first AECB report on Energy security.

Eight years after the first report, David Olivier looks at the UK policy of reaching ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2050. This document briefly outlines moving towards a future in which buildings would be constructed, and materials manufactured, with ‘net zero’ GHG emissions.

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Less is More

LESS IS MORE : Energy security after oil is a report authored by David Olivier and Andy Simmonds, was published at the end of an unprecedented time in UK energy policy history.  It began with the formal acceptance of the need for a climate change policy by the Conservative Government in 1997 and culminated with the Climate Change Act and the 4th Carbon Budget.  Less Is More is a significant analysis contributing to the debate.

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Straw construction in the UK

Purpose of the document :
This document is intended to be a Guide to good practice in design and construction, and as a Guide to complying with UK Building Regulations and Technical Standards. It collates currently available data and performance factors in the design, construction and de-construction of buildings incorporating straw as insulation and as structure.

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Climate resilient building in the Global South

 

The Hereford architect helping Pakistan confront climate change

A Hereford-based green building design specialist has been in Pakistan, supporting recovery efforts following last year’s extreme flooding that buried villages under rocks, and helping communities make buildings climate change-resilient.

Andrew Simmonds of Simmonds.Mills Architects, also the CEO of the Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB), travelled to Sindh in the south of the country and Gilgit-Baltistan in the north with Kamran Shezad of Birmingham-headquartered Muslim faith institute the Bahu Trust.

Catastrophic floods in 2022 displaced more than 7.9 million people in Pakistan, damaged or destroyed some 2 million homes and may cost the country $40 billion.

One man Simmonds and Shezad met had seven family members killed: his wife, sister, mother and four daughters.

"In the south I saw destruction from deep and persistent flooding, and in the north the results of violent flash-flooding, carrying boulders through villages, demolishing homes and burying fields under rock and soil," Simmonds says.

"My role on the trip was to help Kamran and his colleagues understand building-related challenges faced by communities, and investigate how to rebuild collapsed homes and infrastructure in more climate-resilient ways.

“We were there to help reconstruction efforts, offering our knowledge and learning from locals at the same time. Challenges include keeping buildings cooler, fresher and mosquito-free even as climate change means ever-more extreme heat, intense rainfall, and humidity".

A group is now coming together of construction experts from Pakistan and elsewhere in the Global South with a track record in delivering low cost, sustainable, buildings using local materials, that stay cool without air-conditioning.

In the northern villages, "the rocks are still on the land," says Shezad. "Access to many of these communities is via mountainous single lane roads and when they’re blocked it cuts off all food and survival supplies. It’s pretty traumatic.

“Most people in these regions cannot afford to switch off after a disaster,” Shezad added. "They have no choice but to get on with life. These communities are willing to provide labour for free, or contribute in other ways. It's a give and take relationship.

"I want to ensure that we are providing a ‘hand up’ and not a ‘hand out".

The Bahu Trust reached many people in Pakistan through the renown of its founder, Sheikh Sultan Niaz ul Hassan, teacher and guide to around a million Muslims worldwide. Sheikh Sultan recorded a video message to Imams in Karachi, calling for religious leaders to take climate action seriously.

Options for rebuilding in flood-prone areas, Simmonds says, include "raising entire villages up on earth mounds that incorporate composting sewage systems, a large pond, and garden areas, and fruit and nut trees for shading.

"For northern Pakistan, we are looking at ideas such as how mountain stream water used to irrigate fields could also be directed to flow over concrete roofs built into the hillsides to provide electricity-free cooling of the rooms below, before feeding into relocated fishponds".

Other projects Simmonds Mills has worked on include an eco-village in Tanzania, and sustainable housing to ACEB and Passivhaus standards in the UK, such as the Big Lottery-funded Passivhaus certified community centre in Garway village near Ross-on-Wye.

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Dr Huda Elsherif on her Sudanese experience

 

As a Sudanese expat who spent every summer visiting family in the village, I was frequently exposed to various house typologies and lifestyles. These experiences varied from living in a centrally airconditioned villa in the Arabian Gulf, a mixed-mode apartment building in the capital city Khartoum and a naturally ventilated courtyard house in rural Sudan. Despite all three areas sharing a similar climate, my expectations and lifestyle had to change depending on where I was staying. The lack of air conditioners (ACs) in the village meant adaptive behaviours were needed to keep cool. Though these adaptations were very laborious and time-consuming, they were an integral part of everyday life there. It was exhausting to take out all the mattresses and spray the yard every evening, but it also marked the beginning of tea time and boisterous conversations under the starlight.

In the past 20 years, with every visit, I noticed the number of ACs and modern buildings increasing in both Khartoum and rural areas. Existing buildings were also impacted; naturally ventilated buildings became mixed-mode, and mixed-mode buildings became fully air-conditioned. Most changed beyond just adding an AC to spaces; the buildings and occupant behaviour also changed. My family in the village closed all the verandas and stopped using the yard entirely 15 years after they installed the first AC.

As an architect, I tried to design sustainable buildings to resist this trend. The key issue was that most hot climate solutions I found either focused on high-tech, fully airconditioned buildings or low-cost subsidised soil housing in Africa. So I decided to embark on a PhD journey to find a solution that fitted our transitional context. As part of my research, I reached out to other researchers and architects who had to face similar challenges in Africa, and that’s why I first contacted the AECB. I was interested in their experience in the eco-village project in Tanzania. Our conversations helped me identify the building physics aspect of the challenge of designing for an airconditioned space vs a naturally ventilated one in a hot developing country. This formed a key part of my argument in my PhD study, which advocates for an ‘optimised mixed-mode building’, a zone-based approach to efficiently meet the demands of both modes in the same house.

I volunteered to perform a CFD analysis of their design to verify its efficiency and identify ways to improve it. My experience in the African context and thermal comfort also guided my advice for future-proofing the design and improving its resilience.

As part of my research, I am developing a framework for sustainable housing in the global south that respects the local socioeconomic conditions. My continued involvement with the AECB in their projects will help me refine that theoretical framework through practical application. This is important because my next project is to write a practical guide for architects in the global south.

I believe that the diversity of socioeconomic and environmental conditions in the global south requires that we steer away from standardisation and focus on providing flexible context-specific solutions. A sustainable and comfortable house should be viewed as a spectrum of possibilities rather than a specific goal. It could be anything from a cosy mud house in the village to an ultra-modern Passivhaus in the capital or somewhere in between. It is also important to adjust expectations. It is difficult to achieve a net zero building with the limited available capabilities in many communities, but there is always room for improvement. Whether that is improving thermal comfort, resilience or energy consumption, climate change is here, and every bit counts.

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Reducing Embodied Carbon in the Built Environment: The Role of Environmental Product Declarations

Anderson, Jane (2023) PhD thesis The Open University. 

The embodied carbon of construction, caused by the production, transport, installation, maintenance and disposal of construction products, accounts for 12% of global CO2 emissions. However concerns about the availability and variation of embodied carbon data have been cited as barriers to the widespread adoption of embodied carbon assessment and regulation.

This thesis examines these concerns through an analysis of embodied carbon data, including Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), for construction products...

As the construction industry starts on its journey towards net zero, this thesis combines the previously poorly connected knowledge of EPD in industry and academia, with a major and innovative analysis, providing new knowledge of direct relevance for multiple stakeholders looking to reduce the embodied carbon of the built environment.

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Annual accounts 2022
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The Matter of a Clean Energy Future

This is an Editorial Article from Science, by Turner, J.M. (2022) Science, Vol 376, Issue 6600 p. 1361 DOI: 10.1126/science.add5094

Preview:

A clean energy transition will create jobs, promote energy independence, improve public health, and, ultimately, mitigate climate change. But getting to this new future will require more than just phasing out fossil fuels...

Studies project that producing the materials to enable a clean energy transition will be a massive undertaking...

The potential harms of such a transition are considerable. Large-scale mining affects ecosystems, threatens water supplies...

To meet the global clean energy challenge, government policies supporting public and private sector investments are needed at every stage of extraction and processing...

These policies must be paired with initiatives to ensure that materials are sourced sustainably and transparently...

But if such standards are going to be effective, policymakers, corporations, investors, environmental groups, and consumers must demand that they be integrated into the policies that support new mines, govern mining operations...

Ultimately, innovation will reshuffle the burdens of resource extraction in ways that cannot be fully anticipated...

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Energy requirements and carbon emissions for a low-carbon energy transition (Nature, 2022)

Download from Nature: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-33976-5

Slameršak, A., Kallis, G. & Neill, D.W.O. Energy requirements and carbon emissions for a low-carbon energy transition. Nat Commun 13, 6932 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-33976-5

 

Abstract:

Achieving the Paris Agreement will require massive deployment of low-carbon energy. However, constructing, operating, and maintaining a low-carbon energy system will itself require energy, with much of it derived from fossil fuels. This raises the concern that the transition may consume much of the energy available to society, and be a source of considerable emissions. Here we calculate the energy requirements and emissions associated with the global energy system in fourteen mitigation pathways compatible with 1.5 °C of warming. We find that the initial push for a transition is likely to cause a 10–34% decline in net energy available to society. Moreover, we find that the carbon emissions associated with the transition to a low-carbon energy system are substantial, ranging from 70 to 395 GtCO2 (with a cross-scenario average of 195 GtCO2). The share of carbon emissions for the energy system will increase from 10% today to 27% in 2050, and in some cases may take up all remaining emissions available to society under 1.5 °C pathways.

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AECB Articles

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