Webinar: Healthy Buildings Conference 2021

Programme and presentations

Session 1: Wednesday 24th February, 10:00-11:15

10:00 – Welcome to the Conference – Simon Corbey, Director, The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products

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10:05 – Catherine Noakes OBE, Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings, University of Leeds

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10:35 – Jeffery Smith, Air Quality Consultant, World Health Organisation (WHO)

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10:50 – Ben Channon, Director, Ekkist Advisory and WELL Mind Advisory

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11:05 – Q&A

11:20 – Break

Session 2: Wednesday 24th February, 11:30-12:45

11:30 – Geraint Davies MP, Labour MP for Swansea West; Chair of APPG on Air Pollution

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11:50 – Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, Co-Founder, Ella Roberta Family Foundation

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12:10 – Jack Harvie-Clark, Managing Director, Apex Acoustics

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12:30 – Q&A

12:45 – Close

Find out more at: https://asbp.org.uk/healthybuildings2021.

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Wednesday 24th February 2021 | Online

Gold Sponsor

Healthy Buildings Conference 2021

We need a paradigm shift in how we characterise a good performing building, focusing on the need to put human health at the heart of metrics, and pushing for stringent air quality legislation. ASBP’s Healthy Buildings Conference is returning for its 5th year, taking place online on 24th February 2021 (10:00-12:45). Our expert speakers will discuss how to create spaces that are healthy and productive for users, and explore the complex relationship between external and internal air quality and transmission. Presentations will also demonstrate how to specify natural materials and optimise acoustic design to enhance health and wellbeing for occupants.

The event will also feature the Grand Final of the ASBP Innovation Pitch Series (24th Feb, 15:00-16:30), with 7 innovators showcasing alternatives to conventional plastic building products. Plus, hear from six stellar finalists competing for the top accolades in the ASBP Awards 2021 (25th Feb, 15:00-16:30).

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Wednesday 24th February 2021

Session 1: 10:00-11:15

Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings, University of Leeds

COVID-19 has presented us with the most difficult healthcare and societal challenge we have faced in living memory. As a new disease we have had to build the knowledge base on every aspect of the virus rapidly over the past 10 months, including understanding how it transmits and the most effective strategies to mitigate it. Through this the disease has shone an unexpected spotlight on the built environment, raising public and political awareness of the role that indoor air quality and ventilation play in determining our health and wellbeing. 

This presentation will briefly cover the role that the built environment plays in the transmission of disease, particularly with respect to COVID-19. It will consider the gaps in our understanding both in transmission of disease and in our environment performs. The talk will consider the implications of this for the future of our built environment and how it is essential to leverage this new awareness of infection transmission along with the growing evidence base around the importance of indoor air quality to catalyse a new direction for sustainable and healthy built environments. 

Air Quality Consultant, World Health Organisation (WHO)

Jeff is an air quality monitoring expert and clean energy advocate and a consultant with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland for air pollution and urban health projects with a focus on citizen science and community engagement.

Jeff works with individuals, citizens groups, industry, and policymakers to help connect research and data for informed decisions and environmental responsibility. He believes that data visualization will allow us to make better choices to protect public health, increase productivity, and slow climate change.

  • Sensing Health and Safety – What are the multiple benefits and the potential return on investment of deploying indoor air quality monitoring detectors in existing and new buildings with and without central HVAC systems?
  • Natural Ventilation and Sustainable building design: In which environments and settings can natural ventilation work best?
  • Health and Safety for All: What science has discovered in recent years regarding the pathophysiology of the health effects of air pollution.
Director, Ekkist Advisory and WELL Mind Advisory

Ben is an architect, author, TEDx speaker, WELL AP and mental health advocate, and is well known in the industry as a thought leader in designing for happiness and wellbeing. He developed an interest in design for mental health and happiness after experiencing anxiety in his mid-twenties. This led him to research the relationship between buildings and happiness which formed the basis of his first book: Happy by Design. Ben now speaks on this subject to businesses and universities worldwide. 

Ben qualified as a WELL Accredited Professional in 2019, and in 2020 he joined the WELL Mind Advisory panel, using his expertise to raise the bar for healthy buildings worldwide. He is a Director at WELL and wellbeing consultancy Ekkist, working with clients and design teams to create healthier places.”


Session 2: 11:30-12:45

Labour MP for Swansea West; Chair of the APPG on Air Pollution

Several cities in the UK have exceeded air pollution limits set by the World Health Organisation, including Swansea. With support from academics and experts in Swansea, as well as MPs across the House, Geraint has introduced a Clean Air Bill. The Bill sets out a blueprint for a new air quality strategy to tackle the massive public health risk that air pollution represents. The Bill would:

  • Require the government to set and enforce air quality targets;
  • Tighten vehicle emissions targets;
  • Protect children and the elderly from harmful emissions;
  • Provide more pedestrianised areas and cycle lanes;
  • Promote the use of a fiscal strategy to tackle air pollution, including through the use of diesel scrappage schemes.

Co-Founder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation

ASBP supports the Ella Roberta Family Foundation

The Ella Roberta Family Foundation was set up in memory and in celebration of the life and passions of Ella Kissi-Debrah. The foundation supports families with Asthma, and works to find the cause, cure and prevention of severe asthma in children.

The Ella Roberta Family Foundation was set up in Ella’s memory as a way of remembering her life, her passions and learning lessons from her sudden death due to very severe and rare asthma.

In the UK, asthma is the number one childhood illness and the foundation continues to raise awareness of the dangers of this debilitating illness.  Currently in the UK three people die from asthma everyday and at least two of those deaths are avoidable. In London the picture is increasingly worrying not only does the capital record high levels of air pollution but 872 schools are in areas which breach the EU recommended levels.Asthma in London continues to increase, in a class of 30 at least 3 children will have a diagnosis of asthma. In the UK a child is admitted to hospital every 20 minutes because of an asthma attack.

Managing Director, Apex Acoustics

Regenerative building design represents a paradigm shift from current sustainability practices towards a new design approach. It focuses not only on limiting negative impacts of sound but also on promoting a positive contribution to social and ecological systems. Regenerative design and indoor soundscape research share a multidisciplinary approach with the common aim of improving people ́s health and well-being. Soundscape science was originally developed in the context of urban planning; it has recently been applied to the indoor built environment, in order to foster the design of indoor spaces positively perceived by building users. This talk will describe:

  • Regenerative building design & the role of acoustics: new approaches
  • Applications: Good acoustic conditions in open plan offices
  • A new holistic approach – the Acoustics, Ventilation & Overheating: Residential Design Guide


Free Session: 15:00 - 16:30

ASBP Innovation Pitch Series Final

Launched in June 2020 in collaboration with the ASBP Plastics in Construction Group, the pitch series seeks to identify innovative alternatives to conventional plastic building materials and packaging. Hear from up to 8 innovators who were successful at the five events, find out the judges’ winner and cast your vote for the audience prize! Find out more at asbp.org.uk/innovation-pitch-series.



Thursday 25th February 2021

Free Session: 15:00 - 16:30

ASBP Awards 2021 Final

Every year, the ASBP Awards aim to showcase exceptional commitment to delivering sustainability communicated through building projects. For the 2021 Awards we are taking a different approach, shining a light on transformative ideas and the people behind them. Hear from the finalists of the ASBP Awards 2021, who will present their ideas for the chance to impress the audience and claim the Peoples’ Prize.

Webinar Recording

Past Conferences

Healthy Buildings 2020

Healthy Buildings 2020 took place on Thursday 27th February 2020 at the Human Rights Action Centre in London.

Our keynote speakers were Sam Conniff Allende (Award winning social entrepreneur and author of ‘Be More Pirate’) and Mary Creagh (Labour MP for Wakefield from 2005-2019 and former Chair of the Environmental Audit Select Committee).

Healthy Buildings 2019​

Healthy Buildings 2019 took place on 28th February 2019 at London South Bank University.

The theme was ‘Plastics in Construction: Issues, Impacts and Alternatives’ with keynote speakers Emily Penn and Professor Sean Smith (Edinburgh Napier).

Healthy Buildings 2018

Healthy Buildings 2018 took place on 14th February 2018 at University College London.

Our keynote speakers were Professor Stephen Holgate (RCPCH) and Professor Anna Stec (UCLan).

Healthy Buildings 2017

Our inaugural Healthy Buildings Conference and Expo took place on 15th February 2017 at University College London.

We had a whole host of speakers including Dr Jannik Giesekam, Jerker Ligthart (Chemsec) and Dr. Caroline Thurner (IBO).

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