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Last edited 02 Jul 2021
2021 Soft Landings Conference
The Soft Landings Framework is available from the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) and is intended to smooth the transition into use and to address problems that post-occupancy evaluations show to be widespread. It was first published in 2009 and is developed by the BSRIA Soft Landings Group. It celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019.
BSRIA's Soft Landings Conference 2021 was offered as a series of interactive webinars conducted online on 24 June 2021. The theme of the event, 'Smoothing the path to net zero', provided an overview of strategies for reducing the country’s carbon footprint through modifications in the built environment. It examined how adapting the Soft Landings approach - adopted at the earliest design stages, brought forward into construction and then incorporated into ongoing operations - can play a significant role in delivering net zero buildings. It also explored how all stakeholders in the construction and built environment sectors can work together to ensure that the right targets are set for projects at the beginning and that they will be met at the end.
As chair of the event, BSRIA's Dr Michelle Agha-Hossein welcomed attendees and the presenters, who represented different aspects of project teams. Her introductions were followed up by a keynote presentation by Sarah Ratcliffe, CEO of the Better Buildings Partnership.
Ratcliffe discussed ‘The Pathway to Net Zero: BSRIA Soft Landings’, stressing the importance of translating the sector’s commitments into action. She acknowledged several practical initiatives (from organisations including the UKGBC, BREEAM, GRESB, BEIS and so on) that stress performance outcomes and noted the business-like approach of the Australian NABERS programme that has recently been introduced in the UK (and is now being administered by BRE under the name NABERS Design for Performance).
- Influencing (all aspects of government, industry bodies, NGOs).
- Financing (investors and advisors, fund managers, REITs, property companies, developers, valuers and assessors).
- Delivering (architects, engineers, contractors, consultants, project managers, surveyors, suppliers, manufacturers, building and facilities managers).
- Demanding (business owners, government agencies, academic institutions and communities).
Next, Ratcliffe looked at the pieces of the puzzle required across the whole lifecycle of the building process to deliver net zero goals successfully. She specifically remarked on the need for consensus, transparency, skills and collaboration.
- Ben Stubbs, UCL, Head of Sustainable Built Environment. Overview of Soft Landings at UCL, PEARL case study and conclusion.
- Jane Arthurs, UCL East Operational Readiness and Mobilisation Manager. Implementation at UCL East/Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Panel discussion and Q&A.
- Fiona Daly, NHS England National Sustainability and Workspace Lead. The NHS NZC Building Standard.
- Natalie Firminger, Barts Health Hospital Design and Development Director (Whipps Cross Hospital Redevelopment). Delivering net zero at Whipps Cross Hospital
- Chris Pottage, Hoare Lea, Associate, Sustainability. Applying Government Soft Landings (GSL) to a NZC hospital.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- 2016 Soft Landings Conference.
- 2017 Soft Landings Conference.
- 2019 Soft Landings Conference.
- 2020 Soft Landings Conference.
- Better Buildings Partnership.
- BREEAM, LEED or WELL.
- Building performance metrics.
- Building Research Establishment BRE.
- NABERS UK.
- Net zero carbon 2050.
- Soft landings.
- Soft Landings and Government Soft Landings - A convergence guide for construction projects.
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