Leeds Sustainability Institute Launched

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March 2012 Porritt launches Sustainability Institute at Leeds Met A centre that will promote environmental improvements and undertake research into reducing the impact of the built environment has been launched at Leeds Metropolitan University. The Leeds Sustainability Institute will tackle the challenges of creating more sustainable places, communities and economies to enable society and its infrastructure to become sustainable. Jonathon Porritt, founder of Forum for the Future, the UK‟s leadi
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   March 2012Porritt launches Sustainability Institute at Leeds Met A centre that will promote environmental improvements and undertakeresearch into reducing the impact of the built environment has been launchedat Leeds Metropolitan University.The Leeds Sustainability Institute will tackle the challenges of creating moresustainable places, communities and economies to enable society and itsinfrastructure to become sustainable.Jonathon Porritt, founder of Forum for the Future, the UK‟s leading sustainability development charity gave a keynote address at the launchwhere he outlined the benefits of the green economy as the principle driver tostimulating economic recovery in the United Kingdom.T he former Director of Friends of the Earth said: “ Some of the most excitingsustainability developments going on in the UK at the moment are in HigherEducation and for me this is crucially important because the wholesustainability story is what we as one generation owe to the next generationand how we need to act in their interests as much as our own interests. ”   He added: “ Universities have three critical roles; they have to make sure thattheir own built environment is developed to the highest possible sustainabilitystandards, they have to develop really good relationship with the localcommunity in which they are based and on whom they depend and theircurriculum has to reflect sustainability in every single aspect. If universitiescan do that then young people will be empowered, they will get a sense ofownership around the sustainability agenda, that it is a transformative powerwhen you see that at work. ”      Speaking about the impact of the Leeds Sustainability Institute he said: “ TheLSI is in a very strong position as its focus is on the built environment,buildings in their setting and about the uses of that building. There is no pointbuilding wonderful buildings if people don't manage them to optimise thebenefits of more sustainable design. The Leeds Sustainability Institute hassaid that's our patch, where we can add real value which it allows it to think ininterdisciplinary ways about how the built environment shapes every aspect of people's lives.”  Also speaking at the event, which took place at the University‟s BREEAM„Excellent‟ rated Rose Bowl, was George Martin, former head of sustainabledevelopment at Willmott Dixon, Jon Price Centre Director of the Centre forLow Carbon Futures and Professor Malcolm Bell, an expert in theimplementation of zero carbon housing policy.Academics at Leeds Metropolitan are already well-established sustainabilityspecialists and their consultancy and business services are already making asignificant contribution in social policy, low carbon building materials, greencomputing, renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure.Leeds Sustainability Institute Director, Professor Chris Gorse, said: “ TheInstitute already has a wealth of knowledge and experience, but theeconomic, environmental and social challenges require a connectedapproach, embracing leading experts from a broad field of industry, academiaand society. Our aim is to develop research and enterprise that makes apositive difference. The Institute will provide a clear path to those that wantto engage and a more responsive unit that can develop and connectexpertise. Whilst our reach extends around the world, the economic andenvironmental challenge requires positive local and global impact, something that we aspire to.”   “ The Leeds Sustainability Institute field trials and work with communities arehaving a direct impact on the policy and regulation that will pave the way to a  low carbon built environment. Practices developed are being adopted acrossEurope and impacting on the way buildings are tested and monitored toensure performance. Feedback from the University‟s recent research hasresulted in new standards, taking a step closer to the zero carbon and low impact solution.”  Sustainability experts at Leeds Metropolitan University are currently workingextensively in Africa. Funding was awarded in 2011 from the Water ResearchFund for Southern Africa (WARFSA) to undertake research and developmentwork in Malawi. Additionally, funding has been secured from the Departmentfor International Development (DfID) to develop a range of new postgraduatecourses in Africa in conjunction with the Universities of Malawi and Botswana.The focus of these courses is on sustainable engineering.The core themes of the Leeds Sustainability Institute include: People and Places - Creating better and more research-informed policy onthe sustainable management of spaces and places. Providing policy analysisand evaluation that contributes to making stronger and more resilientcommunities. Infrastructure - Developing more resilient and sustainable products andinfrastructure. Assisting the developing world with sustainable resources at alllevels. Buildings and the Environment - Developing forensic and in-use researchto understand new, existing and retrofit buildings, at domestic and commercialscale. Understanding the physics and operation of buildings and their designs,testing construction models and evaluating their performance in the real worldsituations. Business Practice - Providing efficient project and process management tosupport sustainable development, whilst maintaining corporate, social andlegal responsibility. Building enterprise without negative impact.    Energy - Understanding power supply, energy recovery, renewable energy,micro generation, networks and building management systems. Developingan understanding of the relationships between buildings and occupantbehaviour. Information and Communication Technologies - Understanding theapplication of ICT in enabling sustainability by use of these technologies formanagement and monitoring, while also ensuring that the ICT systems areresource efficient. Understanding the impact, technicalities, benefits and thebusiness of Building Information Modelling.For more details please visit http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/research/leeds-sustainability-institute.htm  Ends For further details please contact Mark Dorey on 0113 812 3021 or emailm.dorey@leedsmet.ac.uk  Notes for editors:  Leeds Metropolitan University has over 25,608 students and around 3,000 staff.  The Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University is ProfessorSusan Price and the Chair of the Board is Lord Woolmer of Leeds.    Leeds Metropolitan‟s four faculties are: Arts, Environment and Technology, Business & Law, Health and Social Sciences, andCarnegie.    Leeds Metropolitan‟s heritage can be traced back to the founding of the Mechanics Institute in Leeds in 1824.  International students rated the University top in the UK for languagesupport, accommodation quality and learning spaces in the 2010Autumn Wave of the International Student Barometer and sixth in the
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