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Sustainable buildings - Cardiff Central Square
Arup sustainability consultant Ryan Blakely recently invited members of his local IEMA network to visit the Cardiff Central Square development, where Arup is undertaking a BREEAM assessment.
I am fascinated by the diversity of fields in which IEMA members work. I was keen to give my local network an insight into my work as a sustainability consultant specialising in building design and operation.
Arup has been involved in the Cardiff Central Square redevelopment in recent years and is providing multidisciplinary services in the design of the Plot 6&7 development. The main contractor leading the construction at Plot 6&7, Sir Robert McAlpine, hosted IEMA members for a presentation and site walk. Sir Robert McAlpine's regional sustainability and quality manager, Simon Richards, and I explained the roles of design consultants and contractors in incorporating sustainability into buildings, with examples from the Plot 6&7 project.
Arup is employed to undertake a BREEAM assessment of the Plot 6&7 project, which will provide third-party certification of sustainability performance. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the most common sustainability assessment method for UK buildings. It takes a holistic approach, with 'credits' in 10 sections including Energy, Materials, Waste, and Land Use and Ecology. Credits are awarded where compliance with assessment criteria is demonstrated through the evidence-based assessment report, and performance is expressed as a rating from Pass to Outstanding. Plot 6&7 has achieved a design stage rating of Excellent; the team is working to maintain this post-construction.
The site visit was a fantastic opportunity for Simon and me to share our work and the challenges we face. Knowledge sharing is crucial if we are to tackle sustainability issues. I look forward to learning about the work of other members at future events.
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