I am a specialist builtChris Twinn of Twinn Sustainability Innovation.jpg environment adviser.   My experience crosses many boundaries, including:  policy, regulation, strategy, planning, concept, design, site implementation, and building end-use.  My collaborators tell me that what makes my offering so different is bringing to bear this vast experience when taking those concept sketches and bullet points all the way through to practical implementation and building operation feedback. So as my profile defies conventional pigeonholes, the following provides an outline of where I am coming from.

My background is multi-disciplinary building design;  from architectural engineering, through M&E systems, to building physics & through to multi-faceted sustainability.   I have also built up extensive experience of using planning policy, business strategies and lean design and implementation to deliver sustainability win-win benefits.

After 28 years at Arup,  latterly as a director and Arup Fellow,  I decided to set up my own specialist practice to focus on where sustainability is heading next. Based in China and Australasia for much 2010 to 2013, I have worked on numerous Eco-cities, zero carbon and similar projects.  While exciting and dynamic,  it brought home to me how far we still need to reduce our environmental impact if this planet is to provide sufficient resources for us all to achieve a reasonable standard of living.

Construction Industry Council ZCB Building, Hong Kong Demonstration building in the Kai Tak Kowloon City District regeneration area. Designed and constructed as a zero carbon building using many passive design features, including natural ventilation for a humid climate. Responsible for winning concept building design and then assisting the local design team through to detailed design. Collaborator: Ronald Lu & Partners (Hong Kong) Ltd Image ©Arup
Over some 34 years I have worked on many of the world’s pioneering green buildings and low carbon communities. These include Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) – a first for urban carbon-neutral designed projects, Kingspan Lighthouse – the first Level 6 building to the UK’s Code for Sustainable Homes, the Samsung GREEN TOMORROW Zero Energy House – the first LEED® Platinum certified project in East Asia, and the Construction Industry Council Zero Carbon Building in Hong Kong – to mention but a few.

Through the years I have served on numerous professional and policy advisory bodies, including the UK’s Design Council’s Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and as a consultation contributor to the Chinese 12th Five Year Plan. I gave the main keynote address at the Chinese National Planning Conference in Guilin at the request of Vice Minister Qiu Boaxing and was invited on secondment into the Chinese Construction Ministry (MoHURD). I have been a UKGBC Ambassador and a member of their Non-domestic Zero Carbon Task Group mapping out the roadmap to zero carbon new-build.

I am particularly interested in the relationship between people and their built environment, and why conventional building design tends to overlooks behavioural issues. Yet harnessing this, offers the potential for significant environmental impact benefits.

I also fervently believe that sustainability should cost less than conventional solutions. We should be using less resource to deliver increased built amenity – quite a challenge, but ultimately what is needed for wider and mass adoption to allow us all to live within that finite carrying capacity of our planet.

I would like to share with you my experience, knowledge and ideas for achieving this and more.