The six measures of sustainable development

Bertram opened his talk by describing six metrics to address carbon emissions reduction—global, national, regional, neighborhood, community, and household—showing how governments and other organizations of every size are reducing emissions to meet international goals.

On a national level, Bertram highlighted HM Treasury’s carbon pricing scheme as “incredibly useful” for “delivery” [a] … a kind of golden thread or green thread from policy to projects, procurement, implementation and use.

Using Meridian Water as a “live” example, Bertram described how Enfield’s ambitious redevelopment program will reach carbon neutrality by 2030. He explained that mapping emissions with lead architects and master planners Karakusevic Carson and Arup was an important component of an evidence-based approach, because Up to 80 percent of the Meridian Water project’s carbon emissions will come from construction.

Meridian Water is set to create 10,000 homes and 6,000 jobs on an 85-hectare brownfield site in Tottenham, north London. The site is currently home to a gas works, “big box” retail and warehouse stores. The first 300 residents will move into the first phase of the project next year.

Bertram said he was pleased that Meridian Water’s emissions forecasts were in line with targets set by the Greater London Authority. If the homebuilding industry could work with this system, he said, “we would be able to make all of these reductions work well.”

Regulations, incentives, and taxes are the weirdest, tedious, most impactful way we can change the system.

Enfield is currently working with HTA, Hawkins \ Brown, Mae, Kjellander Sjöberg Architects, Periscope, Assael and Karakusevic Carson on the later stages of Meridian Water, where at least 40 per cent of the units will be affordable. He noted that “Regulations, incentives, and taxes are the most bizarre, tedious, most impactful way we can change the system.”

Crucial to achieving Meridian’s net zero goals is an ambitious materials reuse strategy, which includes a “Materials Reuse Site” — a physical arena for materials recycling, as well as an online exchange that makes it easier for them to buy and sell. Developers and contractors.

Nearly a third of Meridian Water’s buildings will be built with recycled, natural or local materials, according to the Enfield Council website. The Meridian Water Studios Theater is the first on-site theater to be built with recycled materials.

In response to a question from AJ Sustainability Editor Hattie Hartman about which aspect of Meridian Water he is most proud of, Bertram mentioned material reuse, acknowledging that these days it’s still early days for the circular use of materials in construction.

Bertram also highlighted his team’s sustainability initiatives, in particular making sure developers contribute to the carbon offset fund, ensuring that construction is carbon neutral, and promoting the use of locally generated energy.

In the ‘Family’ section of his talk, Bertram shared his personal experience deeply retrofitting his Kentish home. Working with Prewett Bizley Architects, the approach was to maximize interior space through interventions such as the introduction of a home office in the loft, mezzanine sleeping space for the children, and clever joinery throughout to minimize the extent of new construction. Targeted textile improvements were combined with the installation of an air source heat pump and photovoltaic panels.

“It was very dramatic,” said Bertram. We had to put everything back into brickwork and use wood fiber insulation. Then the new stuff [was made] Of the embossed very low carbon materials that can also be recycled… OSB and a specific oil finish. Looks beautiful, feels great, and [is] Ultra sustainable.

Concluding his talk, Mr Bertram plotted the six metrics – global, national, regional, neighborhood, community and household – against each other, suggesting that sustainable housing schemes such as Meridian Water have a key role to play in global efforts to combat the climate crisis.

He said, “If we can all work together and do everything we can, that’s kind of working—but we have to do it.”

A former partner at Foster + Partners, where he worked for 18 years, Bertram joined Enfield Council via Public Practice three years ago. After being hired for a year, he wrote his job description and kept working


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