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Join us at the Royal College of Physicians for the second AJ Footprint Live conference

Hattie Hartman
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The AJ’s second annual Footprint Live conference, will take place on November 20 at the Royal College of Physicians, writes Hattie Hartman

The 2014 Stirling Prize represented a significant leap forward for the level of debate on green design in the UK, yielding not one, but two valuable outcomes.

Haworth Tompkins’ winning Everyman Theatre in Liverpool exemplifies integrated design at its best, where sustainable thinking is subsumed in architectural form and detail design. Also heartening is the fact that this thoughtfully considered building is proving popular with the public, even though it replaces a well-loved theatre. The AJ’s own Stirling coverage revved up the volume on sustainable design with Simon Sturgis’s analysis of the embodied carbon of the six projects presented on a gatefold, generating further comment on the AJ’s website and LinkedIn group.

In another Stirling development, RIBA chief executive Harry Rich launched the long-awaited Test of Time award, which will recognise a building at least 15 years old. This welcome initiative acknowledges the fact that the true merits of a building take time to bed in. All 52 buildings which received an RIBA award in the year 2000 will be reviewed, whittled down to a mid-list and short list and then visited by a jury. Client and user feedback will also be solicited, as well as performance data, when available.

Another important event this month was the International Well Building Institute’s launch of the WELL Building Standard during a full-day symposium at Greenbuild in New Orleans. Designed to supplement LEED and based on seven health and wellness factors, the new standard looks at air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The WELL Building Standard will include a site visit at which an assessor measures factors such as light and temperature and air and water quality.  This increased focus on health and wellbeing all points in the right direction, but it does raise concern about whether this will add yet another specialist to ever-growing consultant teams.

Finally, the AJ’s second annual Footprint Live conference, devoted to sustainability in the city, will take place on November 20 at the Royal College of Physicians. Leading developers, clients and architects will share their vision about the city of tomorrow. First up will be James Timberlake of KieranTimberlake with an update on the new US Embassy at Nine Elms in Wandsworth (targeting both BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum).

Due to complete in 2017, the new embassy has kick-started transformation in this now rapidly changing part of London, where plans for a new high street lined with residences designed by Foster + Partners and Frank Gehry were approved earlier this month as part of the third phase of the £8 billion overhaul of Battersea Power Station. Other speakers include Wolfson Prize winner URBED’s David Rudlin on the 21st century garden city and Monica von Schmalensee of White Arkitekter on post-Hurricane Sandy resiliency planning for New York’s Queens waterfront. Closer to home, Heather Topel, deputy director of the North West Cambridge project, (see this month’s feature, page 54) will present the challenges in extending Cambridge’s historic city centre with new neighbourhoods.

To view the full programme for Footprint Live and to book your place, visit FootprintLive. ArchitectsJournal.co.uk

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