The Twinview team were in attendance at _shift, Space Group's annual conference. On November 9th, at Newcastle University's award-winning Henry Daysh building, over one hundred people attended this essential day of conversations exploring the building sectors' role in reducing emissions and combating climate change.
Attendees travelled from all over Europe to be in the North East and tuned into the live stream from across the globe for this momentous occasion orchestrated to inspire and instigate transformative action. The first event of its kind, it was an electric day of discussions and networking between innovators and representatives spanning every breadth of the industry. Architects, construction workers, policymakers, building materials companies, tech startups, venture capitalists, environmental experts, and more were each brought together under one roof with one common mission; decarbonising the built environment.
Opening the conference was none other than, Twinview's CEO and co-founder, Rob Charlton. Reminding everyone of the severity of the day's focus, Rob referenced the UN secretary general's statement at COP27,
"We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator."
Following an illuminating Climate Timeline video, the former Head of Sustainability Innovation at IKEA, Håkan Nordkvist, presented how we can innovate, build a circular society and change earth systems for the better. "Governments need to be bolder," cited from Håkan, connected closely to the advice and findings offered by Chris Hines MBE, Founding member of Surfers Against Sewage and Former Sustainability Director of the Eden Project. The _shift audience hung onto every word as Chris offered honest insights into how activism can enact real and lasting environmental change. Overall, the sentiment was optimistic, and it was fascinating to hear Hakan and Chris discuss their experiences of bettering the lives of people and the planet, emphasising how the built environment can now do the same.
The conference proved a huge success, as industry knowledge was further delivered by a plethora of speakers and panellists, including James Pellat of GPE, Helen Kerrigan from Newcastle City Council and Scott Bush, Co-founder of Low Carbon Materials, finalists in this year's Earthshot Prize. James shared his background in and use of innovative technology to create spaces that meet changing workplace needs, enhance occupier experiences, and reduce operational energy. James spoke of the huge performance gap between the design intent of buildings, their EPC ratings and actual consumption. Attendees had the opportunity to hear more about the tried and tested methods GPE used to transform this gap within their own portfolio, including Twinview's impact.
"Getting to net zero is going to be really hard, and you need to be open to thinking and to solutions."
- James Pellat, Director of Innovation, GPE.
Fellow sustainability panellist Chris Holmes, Associate Director of SPACE Architects and Manchester Airport Group's Chief Technology Officer, John Hudson, agreed with James and recognised the challenges ahead. John, described by his colleagues as "a highly focused technology strategist", then emphasised the importance of innovation and the role technology-driven data capture will play in the race to net zero.
Closing the conference, Rob Charlton reminded everyone of the pressing issues we face and the need for immediate drastic action on all levels. History was made, and an enjoyable day was had by all who left inspired to take drastic action towards the decarbonisation of the built environment.