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Green Apple 2020 (Award) G#25925

By 14 August 2019April 29th, 20212020, Archive, Awards, Awards, Blog, Current, News
Green Apple National Silver Environment Award 2020

Green Apple 2020 Award Winner

GBE > Blog > News > Awards > G#25925

Green Apple 2020 Award

About the Green Award Scheme

  • The Green Apple Environment Awards were established in 1994 as an annual campaign to recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world.
  • The Green Apple Awards scheme was one of the first to be accredited by the RSA as an official feeder scheme into the European Business Awards for the Environment, and is still one of only a handful of accredited campaigns.
    Previous Green Apple Award winners have gone on to win European awards, and many have taken on the status of International Green World Ambassador by helping others around the world to help the environment.

Eligibility: Who can enter?

  • Entries are invited from any company, organisation, community or individual that is helping the environment.
  • All of our winners – Gold, Silver and Bronze – will be invited to attend a glittering presentation ceremony in the Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, London, in November (2021); where they will be presented with attractive Green Apple Award trophies.


  • 31st May each year


  • Simply complete the entry form below, and use up to 1000 words to go into more detail on why you should win a Green Apple Award.
  • You can  email your entry to
  • Please send postal entries to:-
  • Wollaston Courtyard,
    High Street,
    NN29 7QF

Who or what is Green Apple Awards

  • The Green Apple Awards are run by The Green Organisation – an independent, non-political, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.

Green Apple Award Aims

  • To improve environmental performance
  • Encourage the efficient use of resources.
  • Enhance the competitiveness of organisations.
  • To support the wider goals of sustainable development, including social benefits through
    community and staff involvement.
  • To help Green Apple Award winners to benefit from their environmental endeavours.

Supporting Evidence

  • Lower carbon in construction of better considered buildings
  • Reduced building running costs
  • Lower carbon in use

Green Building Calculator

  • Version 1 launched 10th June 2020 already addresses:
    • Whole Building calculator
    • New Build: Domestic or Non-domestic, Refurbishment is possible
    • Whole building, room by room and element by element heat loss/energy demands
    • Form factor check to help target appropriate U values
    • Legal minimum Regulations v Design Standards
    • Elemental Assemblies, functional components, materials and products and thicknesses
    • U values and energy demands
    • In-use Energy, choose fuel to get in-use CO2 read-out
    • Integrated Bill of Materials, Quantities,
  • Versions 2 to 29 will address more as it develops over 1-2 years
    • Domestic Deep Retrofit, from one-offs to community level
    • Condensation check, Decrement Delay calculation (avoiding overheating)
    • Embodied carbon, energy, sequestered carbon,
    • Cost, Carbon and Energy in wasted materials, savings by segregation
    • Life Cycle Assessment datasets
    • Enhanced datasets:
      • Manufacturers, Suppliers,
      • Materials, Product, Accessories, Systems
      • Specification generator
    • Healthy, Environmental, Resourceful, Appropriate, Competent, Effective, Yardstick
    • Plastics: reduction, substitution, elimination,
    • Deconstruction, Architectural Salvage, Reclaim, Reuse
    • Climate Specific Construction and Materials Choices
  • Support will include:
    • Live Zoom & Video: Stakeholder Meetings, CPD seminars, Training, University Lectures, Coaching



  • To bring 45 years of experience and 20 years of environmental know-how to help accelerate the adoption of low carbon building methods and materials
  • To help fill the technology gap in architectural education and provide some readymade solutions with competent building solutions
  • Enable building designers to do their own building energy and environmental analysis as they assemble their building design
  • To do what I have been wanting Quantity Surveyors to do, to add some intelligence to the design and decision making process with instantaneous cost feedback and automatic Bills of Quantities
  • To allow client and designer to work out cost and energy optimised solutions with instant feedback
  • To give design professionals easy access to multiple calculations on many aspects all in one place
  • To combine costs and performance in one tool to enable well informed decision making


  • Architectural education is too focussed on philosophical ideas and snappy graphics that there is a dearth of building materials and construction know-how, that graduates are inadequately prepared for the real world.
  • Over the decades I have seen too many clients willing to invest in better than normal, to create healthy, productive, green buildings, have their wishes evaporate away under their eyes.
  • Quantity Surveyors are so focused on cost planning to industry norms and have a mind-set of holding project ransom to cost plans or budgets that do not reflect the clients true ambitions.
  • Fanciful designs into tight budgets do not go
  • This leads to cost cutting disguised as value engineering and substitutions dropping below competency levels.
  • Tenderers fall into this same mind-set and now habitually tender well below sensible levels of remuneration that forces them to search for every potential to claim for more after the tender and substitute inferior products
  • Contractions supply chains are so stretched financially that 3 months delay before payment is the new normal
  • Fiduciary rules forcing all businesses to make a profit for shareholders means contractors are looking for shortcuts; quality and competency inevitably suffers.
  • Tradesmen are unable or not permitted by site management to have time to do their jobs to competent level let alone a workmanlike manner
  • The Construction Industry has such high levels mental stress

  • GBE took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to merge and develop existing Excel calculators and launched Green Building Calculator V1 in June 2020.
  • The aim was to help designers to engage robustly with energy efficiency and in use carbon, but with an integrated Bill of materials, quantities, costs the designer can engage the client in value for money and whole life cost discussions and potentially spend more money on insulation and better windows to reduce running costs.

  • A very brief introduction to Green Building Encyclopaedia’s Green Building Calculator (GBC) Version 1.0.0.
  • BrianSpecMan created GBC because he wished that Building Designers could thoroughly analyse their own designs and enable energy performance and cost based design and specification choices.
  • It invites the users to check their building’s Form Factor to guide choice of U value Targets, helps with choosing between legal minimum, client ambition, and robust energy standards.
  • It allows the user to assemble their building’s elements and drill down to functional components which can be replaced by materials and products.
  • It calculates all your U and R values will do energy demand at building, room and element level, and show if targets are met.
  • By choosing the fuel will report on in-use carbon.
  • Because cost planning has habitually driven project towards low cost despite client ambition to invest well, GBC has its own bill of materials, quantities, labour, costs that are dynamically linked to the elemental assemblies, change one thing and the whole updates dynamically.
  • It allows the user to trial and compare spending money on insulation and higher specification windows and see the proportion of energy lost through opaque and glazed construction.
  • Through their own product searches and recent tender information users can populate the Bill of materials.
  • They will be able to do their own Cost Planning, Pre-tender checks and post tender evaluation to spot incompetent or ‘kamikaze’ tenders, to try to avoid the perpetual race to the bottom, inevitable cost planning in disguise as value engineering, substitution and the infamous performance gap.
  • This is the first of 29 planned development versions over the next year the plan is to add condensation checks, overheating calculations, embodied and sequestered carbon and energy calculations, thermal mass, thermal bridging and full life cycle assessment of the whole building.
  • Better more comprehensive readymade elemental assemblies, materials and product datasets will be added and sought to ensure this gets to be as good as it can.
  • As we all know BIM ‘Better Information Management’ has been making all kinds of promises about ability to ‘interrogate the data’, ‘Green BIM’ etc., but its a long time coming and GBC is BrianSpecMan’s response to the chasm waiting to be filled.
  • One day GBC will become that App.
  • In the mean time buy-now and help fund its development and by engaging with it help prolong human occupation of a rapidly ailing planet.

Project Achievements

  • By Green Apple Award application deadline GBC will be 20 days old
  • Version V1 is autonomous, enabled for easy development and already multi-functional
  • Early discussions on LinkedIn about the possibility of a designer’s whole house calculator to engage robustly with costs, energy efficiency, in use, embodied and sequestered carbon were welcomed and started a number of discussions, zoom meetings and request to know more.
  • Interested parties so far include a multitude of disciplines:
    • Manufacturers, self-builders, building designers, energy assessors, surveyors, project managers, retrofit co-ordinators, suppliers, students, university lecturers, architectural practitioners, BIM developers, one planet development advisors, trainers, software advisors, builders.
  • International interest is growing during 20 days:
    • Wales, Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Australia,
    • Potential to develop regional or national product and LCA datasets,
    • Euros and other currencies can be added to future versions.
    • U value (UK) and R values (International) are already part of GBC
    • We do not anticipate an imperial measurement version
      • (Despite USA potential market)
      • Unless we are asked by enough potential users
  • Already an Architect engaged in domestic Deep-Retrofit-First has asked for:
    • Specific developments: in version 1 and others for version 2
    • Started discussions and introduce BIM expertise from the beginning to avoid cul-de-sacs and dead-ends.

What was involved?

Bringing together numerous of my standalone Excel calculators, into a singular multifunctional Green Building Calculator (GBC) to thoroughly interrogate a building design for professional users.

  • WasteCost®lite calculator
  • Whole Building Energy and Carbon in use calculator
  • Whole Building Embodied Energy Embodied Carbon, sequestered carbon calculator
  • Elemental Comparison Calculator

During development I will investigate it becoming a BIM App, to do all that (CAD + BIM) hype claims is one day possible, but still shows little sign of materialising:

  • To interrogate the BIM model and do full cost, energy and full environmental analysis
  • CAD + BIM = 3D Computer Aided Design + Building Information Modelling

Why did I build Green Building Calculator?

I want clients with aspirations and objectives for a Healthy, Environmental, Useful building:

  • To know they can engage a building designer who has the tools and skills to meet their brief
  • To be able to invest well and get what they want; not be driven down the business as usual cost cutting route
  • To know that their environmental design will survive all the way to completion on site

I want Cost Planners & Quantity Surveyors to:

  • Do Value Engineering not cost cutting disguised as Value Engineering;
  • Create the ‘Green Building Price Book’

I want

  • multi-functional materials, products and systems to replace singular function alternatives and succeed in Value Engineering processes
  • Specification Substitution to be done with all facts and figures available about the consequence of every change, other than just cost savings for the contractor or client

I want Environmental consultants, energy advisors:

  • to model buildings, find their weaknesses in terms that building designers cannot continue to ignore

I want building designers to be able to:

  • Do their own Cost Planning without a QS, based on the cost of doing it greener and better, not just cheapest wins every time
  • Immediately understand the environmental impact of their construction or refurbishment methods and make better informed choices of materials or products
  • Compare alternative scenarios easily and quickly and to begin to build an understanding of the consequences of their choices and in time be able to intuitively choose lower impact methods
  • Intelligently interrogate the bill of materials and do environmental analysis on the fly.
  • Access generic materials and product datasets at their fingertips to adopt, apply and interrogate designs
  • Know where a product was invented to be used and not risk its inappropriate application
  • Close the performance gap: energy, airtightness, etc.
  • Have access to competent elemental assembly datasets to choose from and adopt or adapt competently, if in the absence of know-how to assemble their own.
  • Have multi-functional tools that interrogates the same building model/dataset that they only have to build once
  • Submit to architectural competitions and awards that insist on embodied energy, embodied carbon and sequestered carbon and energy and carbon in use, as part of the criteria for success with an appropriate weighting.

I want tenderers and constructors to:

  • be able to price the job properly, not chasing some false economy cost plans,
  • be paid the right price for the right job
  • allow trades people to have the time to care and do a competent job using proper materials
  • to ensure the job is a ‘proper job’ for the designed life of the building

I want BIM

  • to live up to its expectations and hype
  • to do all the wonderful things I want it to be able to do

What did it cost and how was it paid for?

  • Over 440 hours taken to reach launch Version 1 initially in 2017-18 and during COVID-19 lockdown, all at my own expense.
  • At National Minimum Living Wage = £4k.
    • More if it sells well!
  • In addition £8k creating a marketing and delivery mechanisms, videos, website and social media.
  • Inheritance money and COVID-19 lockdown has allowed the time to not have to chase paid work during GBC development.

Future development will depend upon user purchases, prices are set low to encourage purchase and enable rapid development

  • £4.88 for students and self builders Wales One Planet Developments
  • £48.88 for 1-3 person designer practices
  • £98.88 for larger practices

Project achievements?

  • No quantities yet, we may be able to encourage users to share project improvement data in due course
  • By its low cost has potential to be available to many users
  • It has the potential to influence choice of materials and construction methods towards low environmental impact materials

Who and what benefitted?

  • All users will get a better understanding about the buildings they design and will occupy
  • Users will in time get better informed about the environmental consequences of their design decisions
  • Clients being able to see the consequence of short term investment in long-term building ownership costs

Longer term benefits?

  • Lower carbon in construction of better considered buildings
  • Reduced building running costs
  • Lower carbon in use


  • Created one building model/dataset that is then interrogated by a wide range of calculations
  • It will be developed with the help of a stakeholder steering group
  • User will be encouraged to find fault and suggest improvement opportunities with feedback, free upgrades will be offered as an incentive

Can other organisations/communities benefit from using Green Building Calculator?

  • Most disciplines in the construction industry will find GBC useful
  • Clients, building designers, self-builders, engineers, energy advisors, builders can all find something useful.
  • More functionality will be added to support them all

What did you learn from the project and are you planning any further development?

  • Excel can be a platform for a very powerful design tool in the right hands
  • There is an ever-increasing list of Versions of development phases (17 as I write this, described above; 29 as I update this)

Relevant accreditation or awards gained?

  • This is the first time GBC has been submitted to any awards scheme

Enforcement actions?

  • None in 20 days!
  • I am are registered under the Data Protection Act and abide by GDPR requirements
  • We will seek permission to use and adapt data sources, if and where required, pay licenses.
  • We may need to collaborate with other dataset owners to bring their functions and data into GBC

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
14th August 2019 – 29th April 2021

Green Apple 2020 Award

GBC Green Apple 2020 Award V1+

International Green Apple Award 2020 For Environmental Best Practice Carbon Reduction Silver Winner National Green Specification

Green Apple National Silver Environment Award 2020

National Silver Environment Award 2020TGO EBP WINNER Logo PNG
Green Apple Award Logo

Green Apple Award 2020 Logo

Green Building Calculator V1

GBE Green Building Calculator LogoOnly Draft PNGGreen Apple 2020 Award Winner

GBE Green Building Calculator U To Watts To CO2 A13 BRM 210520 PNG

GBE Green Building Calculator U To Watts To CO2 A13 BRM 210520 PNG

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
14th August 2019 – 29th April 2021

Green Apple 2020 Award
See Also:

GBE Awards

  • 30 Awards from 2016 to 2021
  • 3 Pending 2021

GBE Accolades

CAPEM Awards

GreenSpec Awards

BrianSpecMan founded GreenSpec before starting GBE

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
14th August 2019 – 12th March 2021

Green Apple 2020 (Award) G#25925 End.

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