Healthy Buildings 2019 Programme


To view presentations, please click on the speaker's name.

9.00 Registration, refreshments and exhibition

Session 1: Understanding the context and problem - The effects of plastics on our environment and health

10:00 Simon Corbey - Director, ASBP - Welcome from the Chair

Simon will open the conference and give quick introductions to the Healthy Buildings Conference & Expo and ASBP Awards.

10:10 Emily Penn - eXXpedition founder, Parley for the Oceans and Sky Ocean Rescue Ambassador

Ocean plastics, toxic chemicals and human health

Emily Penn is an oceans advocate, skipper and Cambridge University Architecture graduate. Emily splits her time between running eXXpedition - a series of all female voyages which focus on the relationship between plastics, toxic chemicals and female health - and working on solving the ocean plastics issue with Parley for the Oceans.

10:40 Exhibitor products showcase

Our exhibitors will be given 90 seconds each to showcase their products & services and update us on their journeys to using less plastic in their products and processes.

11:15 Refreshments and exhibition

11:45 Professor Sean Smith, Director of Sustainable Construction, Edinburgh Napier University

Plastic in construction: Circular economy improvements and innovative substitution from other products

Professor Sean Smith will cover the impacts of plastics and current usage areas within construction.

  • What are the opportunities to re-use existing plastics and remove from waste landfill?
  • What improvements in other product areas may replace some plastics in use?
  • What are some of the key issues the industry is bringing up in relation to plastics waste?

12.10 Dr. Stephanie Wright - Research Associate, King's College London

(Micro)plastics and health

Dr. Stephanie Wright will update us on her research into microplastics - microscopic pieces of degraded plastic which are a known marine contaminant with harmful impacts. Her research aims to capture and identify potential microplastics in air samples and, if of inhalable size, estimate human exposure levels and health impacts.

  • How are we exposed to microplastics?
  • Can we infer where they go in the human body?
  • What impacts might exposure have?

ASBP Awards

12:30 ASBP Awards presentations and audience vote

Short presentations from the six shortlisted projects followed by an audience vote.

13:15 Lunch, networking and exhibition (ASBP Awards shortlisted projects on display in exhibition area)

Session 2: The journey to less plastic; what are the steps and the alternatives?

14:15 Martin Gettings - Group Head of Sustainability, Canary Wharf Group PLC

Breaking the plastic habit

Martin Gettings, Group Head of Sustainability at Canary Wharf Group will give an update on CWG’s Breaking the Plastic Habit programme, designed to help eliminate single-use plastics at Canary Wharf.

  • How piloting new technologies can spark innovation and collaboration and encourage behavioural change in a micro-city environment.
  • What steps Canary Wharf is taking to achieve Surfers Against Sewage’s Plastic Free Community status.
  • Encouraging people to rethink their plastic usage and move away from avoidable single-use plastics, rather than trying to get rid of all plastic.

14:35 Jasper Hamlet - Project Officer, FIDRA

Nurdles: The problem, solutions and how the construction industry can play a role

  • Overview of pre-production pellet pollution and Fidra’s work - Plastic pellets are the second largest source of micro plastic pollution in our oceans and Fidra works with industry and government to find a pragmatic solution to this issue.
  • Solutions and the responsibility of the plastic supply chain - Building upon Operation Clean Sweep and tackling pellet loss throughout the plastics supply chain.
  • How industry can play a role in preventing pellet loss - Using customer buying power to ensure pellets within the supply chain are handled responsibly

14:55 Kris Karslake - Sustainability Manager, BAM Construct UK

Plastics: A UK contractor’s perspective

Kris Karslake is BAM’s Sustainability Manager and will update on how plastic waste is being avoided by contractors.

  • Moving from waste to resources – a bit on stats and performance of the construction industry
  • Whitecroft lighting – Ecobox – the irony that eliminating single use plastic results in multiple use plastic
  • Workforce engagement – demonstration of the level that people are already engaged with this ‘campaign’ to reduce unnecessary plastics

15:15 Ben Humphries - Director, Architype

Low plastic, low carbon architecture

Ben Humphries is a Director for leading sustainable architect practice Architype. Ben will discuss how the practice has developed low plastic, low carbon specifications on its projects, such as at the Enterprise Centre at University of East Anglia.

15:35 Refreshments and exhibition

Session 3: Plastics - Fire & toxicity

16:05 Scott Pearce - Operational Policy and Development, Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Fire and Rescue: Mitigating exposure to toxic substances

Scott Pearce will discuss the topic of exposure to fire and toxicity in buildings; and how fire and rescue services are mitigating exposure to toxic substances. Scott will also give overview of cancer rates for fire fighters; can this be linked directly to toxic substance exposure? Finally, Scott will update us on the work of the National Contaminants Forum, hosted by the National Fire Chiefs Council.

16:25 Professor Anna Stec - Fire Chemistry and Toxicity, University of Central Lancashire

Fire toxicity of building products

We are also delighted to welcome back Professor Anna Stec, one of the leading experts on fire chemistry & toxicity and an expert witness for the Grenfell Tower inquiry.

  • Fire toxicity is the biggest cause of death and injury in fires, but is unregulated.
  • Material composition has a big effect on fire toxicity.
  • The emphasis on insulation over fire safety has left the Building Regulations behind modern building practice.
  • Assessing fire toxicity is easy, and an essential component of fire hazard assessment.

Closing Session: Conclusions and the way forward

16.45 Gary Newman - Executive Chair, ASBP

Gary Newman will conclude the conference and will discuss the possible solutions. What are our next steps? What are the alternatives, and what are the 'low hanging fruit'? Timber windows, thermally modified timber, natural insulation?

17:00 Drinks and networking plus ASBP Awards announcement - Judge's Overall Winner, 'People's Prize' and natureplus Product Innovation Award

19.00 Close

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