Helsinki SB11 Day 3

This was a day where our partners to the west in Swansea, Coastal Housing Association, were represented.  Tim Taylor from UWIC is one of their two doctoral students, and is looking at new build construction techniques for low carbon apartment buildngs.  He presented his poster today.  I must also make reference to Simon Hatherly who is undertaking a PhD with Pembrokeshire Housing Association as his industrial partner; Simon presented yesterday and is looking at rural housing issues and the viability of achieving high sustainability standards in these locations.

Of course, there is also United Welsh’s doctoral student, David Holmes who is looking at ecological modeling of new developments for United Welsh.  Wales is certainly well represented at this conference.

Another heady mixture of seminars today.  Reading University have prepared a model which simplifies the issues when it comes to measuring carbon footprints for businesses.  Interesting seminar which explores all the issues that businesses need to focus on to establish their benchmark.

Tonight was a unique occasion as we managed to convince UK representatives that we should be invited to a reception at the British Embassy in Helsinki.  This turned out to be a very civilised, yet informal affair bringng the scientific community of Finland and the UK together.  Why I was allowed in, I’m not quite sure, but whatever the merits of my own intellectual credentials, I still managed to chew the cud with Professor Mikko Malaska from the University of Oulo which is about 500km north of Helsinki.  Passivhaus was the order of the day and also trying to get my head around living in the winter time in an area where only 3 hours daylight is experienced!!!  A lot of the time, I think the UK tends to regard its continental cousins as being leaps ahead across a range of issues.  However, remarkably the challenges in terms of adapting to the climate change agenda are very much the same.  End-user education, cultural changes….all topical, and lots of nodding of heads all round.  We are not alone.

Gareth Davies 

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