Reducing Energy Consumption: Challenges & Strategies

20 Apr 2023
Sheikh Zayed Theatre

Energy Reduction: Bare minimum strategies and the onward journey to true net zero - Andrew Dutton, Sector Leader, Education & Rebecca Harlow, Net Zero Carbon Proposition Lead, Places, Arcadis

With ambitious targets being set around net zero commitments, rising energy costs over the last 12 months has provided increased challenge to achieving these targets. The journey towards achieving true net zero is challenged by short term needs to address energy consumption and costs. The panel discussion will focus on the outlook for the next two years and propose that the immediate focus should be on energy reduction and behaviour change across the education estate whilst ensuring the strategy towards true net zero carbon is progressed.

The discussion will include:

  • Current energy market forecast
  • The immediate need for focus on energy saving over longer-term net zero carbon ambitions
  • The role of public finance and private finance in energy reduction measures
  • Technology availability and requirements for related skills
  • Enablers to behavioural change to support immediate energy reduction outcomes
  • 2025 and beyond to achieve net zero

The Lo-Carb Diet: where we are and where we need to get to - Ben Marston, Director, Jestico + Whiles & Stephen Gallacher, Associate Principal, Elementa Consulting

Jestico + Whiles in-house research unit, Addition Labs, undertakes R&D in support of the practice’s fee-earning work. The unit’s recent work in this space has included developing zero carbon in operation school models with contractors on the DfE framework, making frank embodied carbon assessments of current typical schools being built by the DfE framework and their current project developing a prototype zero-carbon school building approach in collaboration with Elementa.

There are a number of different approaches to achieving net zero carbon in operation. Achieving net zero, or minimal carbon, holistically, including the embodied component during construction, operation and in eventual decommissioning is the real challenge. Some approaches to net zero carbon in operation are not necessarily the best when considering carbon over the full life-time of the project.

Understanding the scale of the challenge begins with understanding where we are. Many of the schools being built by contractors currently are following a formulaic approach which has been driven for more than a decade by a lowest possible cost approach, not a carbon agenda. An assessment of where the embodied carbon is in a typical school needs to be the starting point of determining how school construction needs to evolve to meet ambitions of reducing its overall carbon footprint.

In collaboration with environmental engineering specialists Elementa, Jestico + Whiles and Elementa present their assessment of the current status quo of embodied carbon in school construction, and outline ideas through their developing prototype of how school construction can be made significantly lower carbon.

Helen Groves, Architect Director - Atkins Limited
Andrew Dutton, Sector Leader, Education - Arcadis
Rebecca Harlow, Net Zero Carbon Proposition Lead - Arcadis
Ben Marston, Director - Jestico + Whiles
Stephen Gallacher, Associate Principal - Elementa Consulting