TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY BOARD - BUILDINGS BETTER CONNECTED
An example of gross un-sustainability. A city cannot generate its own energy from nature. It relies on electricity supply from utilities miles away from the source. There is no way that such a condensed layout could capture heat energy such as to be self sufficient. Cities are also choked with fumes from IC engines, so breeding grounds for disease. Why then do we have cities?
BUILDINGS BETTER CONNECTED APPLICATION
Set against housing shortages, sky high mortgages that are way beyond the means of the ordinary working man, and the complete lack of integrated heating and storage systems in UK housing stock, a charity called 'Max Energy Limited' applied to the TSB under their Buildings Better Connected call in March/April of 2013.
For this application a project leader was appointed who is a skilled advocate at appeals, winner of many in controversial circumstances. He is also a holder of a CAD drafting and design qualification and a bona fide patentee. He has seen several applications succeed without the need for appeal. As a background the project lead's family had been in house building construction for many years and were also manufacturers of factory low cost prefabricated homes.
The proposal was for a feasibility study to engage with local authorities, where pre-application communications with Brighton, Eastbourne and Wealden councils were all negative. None of the councils contacted could provide details of the affordable rolling housing stock. Clearly then, there was a need to set an example to see if the new Government guidance would be adhered to, when it came to sustainable housing applications. The proposal was to develop a method of application that would succeed. It was envisaged that a planing application would need to be made for an affordable unit with energy harvesting technology, and then fought at appeal. This would have been the case simply because if, as it appears, there is no rolling stock of affordable land, then any of the three councils would have been held to be negligent - and would of course wish to put up an argument to challenge the feasibility of the Goverment's guidance, targets, etc.
A budget of £12,138 was presented, being that the applicant was a charity and was doing this work at cost, also taking advantage of volunteers.
A detailed business case was included as a Social Landlord Model, for 100 units on a 12 acre site. Crowded, yes, but no more so than a typical council housing estate. The financial case was set out to include payback of borrowed monies. The houses that were to be applied for, were based on current flatpack technology, with improvements and the inclusion of energy harvesting devices as part of an integrated unit. The object being to reduce build cost, where affordability is also sustainability. This example clearly set out how the results of the project would be exploited in practical terms. Once a planning case has been made at appeal and upheld by the Secretary of State, that is case precedent upon which all other house builders may rely. The TSB seems not to have known about case precedents and how the building industry relies on them when considering applying for planning permission - hence, is setting a case precedent one is disseminating the technology.
Zero carbon sustainability can also tick the affordable box. Or, affordable building design can tick the zero carbon boxes. It is one and the same thing, because sustainable means that we can afford it and keep on affording it. Where heat energy from the sun is captured is large quantities, that heat replaces heat that would otherwise involve the burning of fossil fuels, which is not sustainable.
The on site generation of electricity also contributes to savings, that turn such communities into micro generators. According to the TSB, this subject was "not addressed at all." But the
TSB OFFICIAL APPLICATION GUIDANCE - BUILDINGS BETTER CONNECTED
The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £500k in feasibility studies to develop new knowledge and skills in integrating future infrastructure requirements into the very heart of buildings and communities.
The focus of these feasibility studies is on integrating and enabling new types of local infrastructure systems. The research can be applied to any building type – new buildings or retrofit – and at any local scale of network, whether individual buildings, neighbourhoods, communities or urban districts.
proposals that only address energy efficiency within buildings as
covered in other competitions
* transportation not associated with integrating charging and energy storage in buildings
energy pricing and tariff-based business models
* proposals focusing on off-grid living or working.
While the application process was costly (time consuming) in itself, it showed us that the TSB lack the insight into the practicalities of everyday building issues. The application form is limited in space (character allowed) such that no details of a complex design and planning proposal could have been included. Yet, the applicant was chastised for not including details. If ever there was a catch 22 situation, this was it.
It became obvious that unless the assessor was familiar with the technology, or law relating to a proposal, such that shortcuts could be made, an applicant with a truly original concept could never make a case to the satisfaction of a TSB non-practitioner. After which the making of an application is of course a waste of time, but not for the TSB, who gained valuable IP and ideas that they might then assimilate in formulating forward funding proposals.
Despite engaging one of the foremost experts at winning difficult appeals, the TSB said that Max Energy had not engaged an expert familiar with the planning aspects. What the TSB meant of course, was that they did not recognize expertise by results, but rather wished to see a consortium partner with letters after their name. The letters would save them the time of looking at what the lead strategist had accomplished. They completely overlooked the fact that applications were open to individuals, which of course means no consortium should have been necessary for an application to succeed. We wonder why the TSB would bother telling persons what the rules are, then not apply them.
HORIZON 2020 = BETTER FUNDING and BROADER SCOPE
We hope that the Horizon 2020 calls will fair any better. The ERRIN Network, in collaboration with the Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform, will organize an information session and a brokerage event on the Horizon 2020 call for Smart Cities and Communities on the 13th of December 2013. This is essentially the same criteria as the TSB call for 'Buildings Better Connected.'
The EC Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform (http://eu-smartcities.eu/) has the dual aim of identifying and spreading relevant information of technology solutions and needs required by practitioners and providing information for policy support to the High Level Group and the European Commission. It is both a web-based and physical Platform open to anyone who registers on it. Backbone is the contributions by stakeholders in a bottom-up way, owned by the stakeholders. The Platform is one of the two governance bodies of the Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership (EIP).
The event will target a wide spectrum of companies, universities and researchers from Europe and beyond and will foster the creation of consortia for the upcoming Horizon 2020 Energy calls on the 3 Focus areas:
The proposal that was entered for the TSB call in March 2013, appears to meet all three of these criteria. What a shame that the TSB were so short sighted, in not recognizing a solution when one was presented to them.
SMART CITIES, SMART EUROPE; PUTTING OUR ENERGY INTO INNOVATION & SUSTAINABILITY
Today, nearly 70% of the EU population lives in urban areas, and the figure is likely to increase over the next few decades. Cities are main centres for all economic, social and cultural activities in Europe and create around 80% of the EU's gross domestic product. According to the European Commission, urban areas consume 70% of energy, and account for 75% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions, thus, making cities the place where most energy savings could be made. Cities have an important role to play in achieving national and European green-growth strategies, such as the EU’s 20-20-20 targets notably through innovation in energy, transport and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
According to a recent European Parliament policy study “Mapping Smart Cities in the EU” (January 2014), the core idea of Smart Cities is to better connect human capital, social capital and ICT infrastructures in order to generate greater and more sustainable economic development and a better quality of life for citizens. The concept of Smart Cities calls for intelligent approaches to local economy, mobility and environment by focusing on people’s needs and interests. Over the past few years, projects and programmes have multiplied at local, national and European level and some lessons can already be drawn from past experiences.
Building on the Smart Cities and Communities Initiative, launched in 2011, the European Commission has committed to supporting EU cities in the development and implementation of the Smart Cities strategy through the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC). The Partnership consists of the High Level Group and the Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform, which aim to implement a Strategic Action Plan and to promote SmartCity concepts on a wider scale.
In the long-term, every city should provide improved and smarter public services that are more citizen-centred, economically viable and environmentally sustainable. New investments are being made in research and new technologies, and institutions are also paying renewed attention to integrated smart city solutions across Europe. Experts and policy-makers recognise the need for strong partnerships between cities, industry and citizens to improve urban life through more sustainable and integrated solutions.
This special international symposium will assess the challenges that lie ahead in creating smarter cities and moving towards improved and sustainable public services for citizens. The symposium will explore the need for flexible partnerships between public and private sectors as well as diverse industries such as telecommunication, energy providers, manufacturers, and suppliers to ensure improvements in mobility, energy consumption, governance and social cohesion in European cities.
A sustainable city begins with a transport infrastructure that is sustainable. Such an infrastructure begins with a city car that can recharge near instantly, from a service facility that is affordable and load levels. Such a system is under development in Sussex, England, but the company concerned is not eligible for funding under current EU rules because they are not an academic institution, nor a company that is prepared to borrow (unsustainable practice) to develop such disruptive technology; the risks being too great. Development is therefore gradual and IP is offered to companies that have sufficient reserves and an income stream to support more rapid development.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
Small Business Federations
Chambers of Commerce
Organisational Development Professionals
International and Regional Organisations
National Ministries and Institutes
Joint Committees on Environment
Social Exclusion Officers
Confederations of Independent Unions
Regional Development and Natural Environment Specialists
Local Authority Waste and Recycling Professionals
Local Authority Waterways Professionals
Central Government Departments
Sustainable Development Stakeholders
Sustainable Tourism Professionals
Directors and Heads of Parks and Public Spaces
Environmental Services and Policy Professionals
Environmental Services Sustainability Professionals
Environmental Services Urban Design Professionals
Environmental Planning and Design Officers
Environmental Campaigns Professionals
Environmental Enforcement Professionals
Housing Authorities and Professionals
Renewable Energy Leads
Energy Efficiency Professionals
Green Education Professionals
Schools and Education Stakeholders (including LEAs)
Private Sector Environmental Organisations
Business Development Professionals
Greening Retail Organisations
Greening Industry Professionals
Third Sector Organisations
Academics and Researchers
Enquiries: 0845 606 1535
UK - A nicely integrated solar home - as far as we know the 1st proposed. Zero carbon living that is affordable - provided that sensibly priced land is rolled out to keep houses below the £50,000 target. The US department of energy are also on the case.
group of Eastbourne residents fed up with the impossibility of attaining
a home in the United Kingdom while a low wage earner, have formed a
Society to investigate the possibility of building houses that are
affordable and sustainable at the same time. The academics have had
their chance and failed to kick start any project as advanced as this.
The TSB also failed to grasp the planning issues and the need for some
organisation to set a case precedent. The financial risks involved were
far too high, but a consultant strategist has agreed to work on this
project on a no-win, no-fee basis.