The Edinburgh Sustainability Awards for 2012/13 are soon to be launched in October. Roy Dawkes, Building Manager for the Little France campus reflects on the efforts of Team Chancellors, one of last year's Gold winners.
Following the Awards Ceremony in May 2012, Caroline Overy, Engagement Manager for the Sustainability Office, met with Roy Dawkes to find out more about the requirements and challenges of the sustainable ‘road to gold.’
“I found out about the awards from colleagues and the University website and I felt that it was something I would like to do at Little France, specifically in Chancellor’s Building as a whole. It felt like a good opportunity to engage everyone in this building in a sustainability culture change. The building achieved a Gold award and I got the award for an Outstanding Personal Contribution.
It has been fantastic team effort: everyone in the building has embraced the changes with great enthusiasm and even after the awards ceremony I can still see the evidence of changed behaviour within the building and a different ethos than before. Once we decided to run for the awards, our sustainability committee had an attitude of going for gold and they wouldn’t go for anything else, they were so committed and I’m delighted they weren’t disappointed.”
“The main challenge for The Chancellor’s building was that facility services are delivered by PFI contractors and not by the traditional University’s Estates & Buildings team. From my point of view I was motivated to engage our PFI providers. So I met with them and fortunately they thought it was a good idea and wanted to support us - helped us to achieve some of the milestones required by this award. So now we’re not only promoting sustainability within our own building, we’re also spreading the word to other organizations that work with us, to inform and take their sustainability policy forward.
One of the most important things was that we managed to get our PFI service providers to put in a managed lighting regime for the whole building to allow us to make more economical use of the lights. At the moment the lights out of hours do not respond to occupancy levels and stay on for considerable lengths of time. But now we have a responsive system that is about to be implemented which will generate considerable energy savings. A little input of equipment and a little input of expertise from our facility providers will allow The Chancellor’s Building to register considerable energy and money savings at no extra cost to the University.”
“I think the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine is going to be challenged in the next few years to reduce the energy consumption, as is the rest of the University, and I think we ought to make everyone aware - the Sustainability Awards are a useful tool to get the word out there and also reward those involved. The awareness in Chancellor’s Building has risen considerably and I think the level of involvement and the team effort inspired by these awards will keep reminding people of the responsibilities and possibilities.
Following the Chancellor’s Building success I plan to take this forward and encourage other buildings within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine to step up and go for gold for their building at next year’s Sustainability Awards."
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This article was published on Sep 19, 2012