Green Building Encyclopaedia GBE
Green Building Encyclopaedia (GBE) is a growing information resource about creating healthy, environmental and efficient buildings – giving you the know-how to be able to engage robustly with these and other issues and still have the freedom to make them beautiful.
GBE includes design advice, guidance and technical detail regarding the selection, design or specification of building methods, materials, services, systems, products and whole buildings.
- Designing, choosing methods, materials; systems, products and accessories; and specifying them for building is complex – even more so if you are trying to ensure they are healthy, environmentally friendly, and make them energy, material and resource efficient.
- Choosing between them is a mind blowing complex affair that is difficult to get right.
- Trying to make sense of all of this information is a challenge for architects, design professionals and constructors, it is made more complex if you are not trained in the subject, let alone self-builders BIYers, DIYers or first time clients.
- If it is your own home or place of business, this is an opportunity to create low or bill-free, healthy living and working spaces.
- There are too many options and alternatives that are full of financially tempting short term compromises with long term implications.
- Authoritative information can also be biased due to the history of its development or its funding.
- We are all surrounded by eager manufacturer or their advisory associations all-vying for your attention.
- Many have their own single system and their guidance will usually be against alternative and towards that one system, rightly or wrongly.
- Even in the presence of good information, there is often little joined-up bigger-picture thinking.
- Students regularly want all the answers without the learning.
- Everybody wants all the answers all in one place.
- Everybody wants more detail at their fingertips
Green Building Encyclopaedia GBE
- To facilitate Development Control (planners and building control), the whole demand chain (designers, contractors) and supply chain (manufacturers, suppliers, constructors, installers) of the Construction Industry, National and Local Government and project clients to back up and deliver on their Declares and Pledges in the Climate Emergency.
- A world in which every student, designer and constructor has real-world relevant know-how to make well-informed choices to contribute positively to environmentally competent buildings; and protect indoor, local, planetary and human health and wellbeing.
- A world in which self-builders and clients can be armed with independent information to allow them to question manufacturers, suppliers, designers and constructors to ensure they can are being offered joined up thinking and competent environmental, value for money solutions.
- To learn by attending a diverse range of events to assimilate and distinguish between bad, good and best environmental building practices; always applying joined up thinking to ensure relevance.
- To create and disseminate real-world relevant, joined up thinking, really useful website content, seminars and tools.
- To enable others to learn from this and enable them to inspire and persuade others and clients, to adopt best environmental practices.
- To enable others to make competent choices of environmentally responsible building methods, materials and services.
- To help manufacturers, supplier and installer understand, define and collate the environmental characteristics of their products, accessories and systems; and communicate them effectively to their specifying customers
- Enable the re-education of the construction industry to tackle the Climate Emergency
- Serve students well, as they are now actively demanding a decent future, to enable them to kick out entrenched, business as usual, bad behaviour
- Address and disseminate things that can be implemented easily in your daily work
- Put ideas in your head that will question received wisdom and standard behaviour
- We attempt to collect and verify information on say 600 out of 1260 pieces of information about companies, their products, accessories and systems (some of which they find difficult to lay their hands on)
- We extract this information from literature, certificates, MSDS, advertising and websites
- We collect this information in GBE Product Data Collection and reformat it into numerous (up to 35) tables ready for output in different documents.
- We also attempt to collect and verify information about the products’ environmental claims
- We have >400 criteria for judging a material or product’s environmental credentials
- We are then in a position to inform users of GBE website with what we have learned
- Develop GBE Jargon Buster to introduce and translate the sustainability revolution and everyday jargon
- Develop New Build, Existing Building and Adaptation GBE Checklists to advise which materials to avoid, which to reduce and to suggest alternatives materials and product lists to consider in their place.
- Develop GBE Code of design principles: GBE Patterns, GBE Rules of Thumb
- Develop GBE Equations to interrogate GBE Datasets in ready to use GBE Calculators
- Analyse GBE Defects and link them to GBE Solution Providers with GBE Solutions
- Develop GBE Product Pages with schedules of information and links to other outputs
- GBE has set out to try to help anyone and everyone in their quest for clarity.
- GBE will show product, accessory and system strengths and weaknesses and help you to find the right combinations that work effectively together.
- GBE will offer well-rounded content, where everything is given a level playing field with all the players on the pitch.
- GBE is finding other specialists to join the GBE Team that know about lifestyle, behaviour change, furniture, interiors, landscape, biodiversity, water, energy, lighting structures, civil engineering and infrastructure.
- GBE’s primary objective is to promote environmentally sound solutions
- But veering away from plastics is challenging and may miss out on some important characteristics
- Some materials may not be environmental but they are competent in certain situations where an environmental material may have produced an inadequate installation.
- So GBE aims to promote healthy environmental resourceful appropriate competent effective yardstick materials, products and systems.
- Initially GBE focusses on UK made products, but to exclude materials further afield will miss out on modern and innovative methods of construction that are exemplars in their sectors.
- Materials products accessories systems available in and from the UK are our priority to help with local procurement and minimising transport emissions.
- Then we will tackle others from the EU and finally from further afield.
- The site is embryonic with over 2080 pages, posts, portfolios, navigation pages and hidden templates
- The content is constantly being updated, with <32,000 updates to date
- Please keep coming back to see what else has been added that can help you become an even more informed, environmentally aware individual capable of influencing others
- Whist we think we know what needs doing and we are getting on with it, we would like to mention some accolades
- BrianSpecMan, NGS Ltd and GBE Website have been recognised and commended by UK and international bodies
- GBE Awards: Since 2016 we have been awarded or commended 19 times, all this suggests we may be getting it right
- We still have a long way to go
GBE’s Quotes to Students and Qualified Designers
- Do your best with what you know, when you know better, do better
- 10, 20, 30, 40 year old ‘College-Knowledge’ was never enough and has been getting out of date ever since
- ‘College-Knowledge’ probably will not help with your Climate Pledge or Declare
- The Sustainability Revolution means most of our know-how needs a Radical Refresh
Green Building Encyclopaedia GBE
In the context of the current doctrine: Profits before People before Planet –
Fiduciary Rules okay (an obligation to make a profit for shareholders)We need a new easily understood definition for Sustainability:
GBE HERACEY™ Healthy Environmental Resourceful Appropriate Competent Effective Yardstick
Armed with product that meet these and many other criteria we can succeed
- Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan is a technician and architect by training, specification writer by choice, university lecturer/studio tutor and environmentalist by action
- Brian’s last 45 years in the industry have been challenging and gratifying;
- In 36 years of consultancy he specified large and small projects with a cumulative value of over £2415m
- Brian took the opportunity to green up his act since 1999 these have been the most enjoyable but frustrating years; with Greta Thunburg’s Behaviour Change campaign, the next few decades may be better
- He founded National Green Specification (NGS) in 2001 to try to right the wrongs for many fellow architects and to challenge the establishment that maintains the status quo
- Brian’s highlights are working with students and practicing architects to enable them to achieve the ideas in their heads; bringing extensive materials, construction know-how and an environmental focus to the design process; with a driving enthusiasm for competency in exhilarating solutions
- Brian reverts to Specification writing to the last dot and crossed tee in robust specifications that are not rushed over the weekend but focus on including the reasons why a product was chosen in the clauses, provide the ammunition to defend against cost cutting, value engineering and substitution
- Brian has developed specifications for: methods of construction not covered by NBS; products & materials; waste minimisation/management of materials/packaging; reclaim for reuse/recycling
- Brian has created and presented over 1000 PowerPoint files on Environmentally Sustainable Construction, Specification and Professional Practice GBE CPD seminars & GBE Lectures, which are being added to and can be downloaded from the website pages or in GBE Shop
- Brian also gets pleasure from power over numbers in Excel spreadsheet GBE Calculators including: WasteCost® lite Calculator & Whole Building Embodied/Sequestered Energy/Carbon and more
- Brian has an appetite for recording what he has learned so he does not have to remember it all (there is only so much he can keep in all at the same time), so is passing on this knowledge of environmentally sound design and construction through GBE website https://GreenBuildingEncyclopaedia.uk website (this page)
- To respond to the Global Climate Strikes and Declarers (Architects, Construction & Education) GBE is teaming up with Edith Colomba of Make a Difference (MaD) to develop On-line Webinar CPD to make the most of GBE’s extensive collection.