Important lessons on-line for designers of sustainable buildings

National construction and property consultancy Pick Everard has completed an innovative three year project that allows designers to share sustainable building know-how using the new online Lessons platform.

Funded by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, as part of its ‘Design & Decision Tools for Low Impact Buildings’ programme, Lessons was a collaborative venture between four industry partners; Pick Everard; the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development at De Montfort University; Integrated Environmental Solutions, developers of building design and performance analysis software packages and Vanguard Homes, designers and builders of rapid and affordable domestic retrofits.

Pick Everard took a lead role in the Lessons project by providing project management and technical design expertise. John Thompson, Pick Everard Director, was Project Lead, working alongside Dr Jose Hernandez, Associate, as Technical Lead and Natalie Clemson as Project Manager.

Using this on-line tool, building designers can access knowledge, experience and the lessons learned by other construction professionals working on sustainable building design projects. Being able to access others’ experiences and insights, helps designers reach faster, more informed decisions and avoid problems encountered by others, even when dealing with less familiar or brand new technologies.

The website is free and once signed up, construction professionals can upload case studies or view other’s projects.

Integrated Environmental Solutions has also integrated Lessons in its Virtual Environment (VE) software which allows thermal modelling building designs to be shared on a secure and powerful platform that also connects designers, builders and owners of low carbon buildings with the industry’s latest sustainable products.

Pick Everard is using the Lessons VE software module on new projects including 25 new school projects for the London Borough of Hounslow. Because the software allows for rapid formulation and testing of energy and carbon reduction opportunities, Lessons is also being used by the firm for a growing portfolio in energy efficiency and energy performance audits on buildings in operation.

As well as being able to showcase projects externally, the practice is using Lessons to develop its knowledge sharing capability internally too.

John Thompson, Director at Pick Everard explains,

“What’s so exciting about Lessons is that it gives many more practitioners access to valuable industry knowledge about low carbon buildings, and at an earlier stage in the design process. It’s taken three years work by the team to research, develop, test and finally launch an easy to use, knowledge-sharing tool that’s linked to real case studies and the latest products, but we’re all delighted with the result. Lessons enables many more building designers to access information which will improve the quality of low-carbon buildings in the UK.”