The Role of Buildings in Sustainable Development

Watch the recording here

On the 16th February, Future Leap held a hybrid event on the topic of ‘The role of buildings in sustainable development’. Before the event began, the attendees enjoyed some pre sessional networking both in-person over breakfast and online.    

Katherine Piper of Future Leap welcomed the attendees before giving an insight into The Future Leap Network, Future Leap Hub and the many benefits of membership, as well as the Festival of Sustainable Business. She began by highlighting the need for widespread grassroots climate action and leadership, as governments are failing to move decisively in order to enact the rapid pace of change that is necessary. She then introduced the speakers:  

  • Chris Jones, Energy Sustainability Manager, University of Bristol 
  • Jessie Wildes, Deputy Project Director, Bristol Housing Festival

Chris Jones, University of Bristol  

Chris firstly introduced himself and the University, giving some background statistics on the university’s energy and carbon impacts. He then spoke about the principles of BEMS (Building and Energy Management Systems), the move towards ‘smart’ buildings and how this is part of the solution to reducing carbon. He gave a live demonstration of the University of Bristol’s BEMS system. 

Jessie Wilde, Bristol Housing Festival 

Jessie spoke about how new builds are part of the crucial ecosystem of sustainable development. This included discussion around new and innovative housing technology, such as modern methods of construction, and wider issues such as affordability and biodiversity and the construction skills shortage. 


After the speakers had presented, time was given for a rigorous and insightful hybrid Q&A. 

60 second pitches  

We heard snappy 60 second pitches from YTKO, Hartwyn Sustainable Construction and Robert Chapman & Company. 


Katherine presented the attendees with some next steps, including signing up to Bristol’s Climate Ask, joining Future Leap’s Network and applying for our 2022 Sustainable Business Awards. She then brought the event to a close, thanking all the speakers and attendees for their insight and interest. Those who attended virtually went into breakout rooms and those in person enjoyed networking with coffee, tea and breakfast snacks. 

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