27 April & 18 May & 22 June 2022 | 12 pm - 1 pm (BST)

Following on from the conference programme at Futurebuild 2022, the Edge curated three sessions highlighting some of the big issues that we are all probably aware of, but tend to put to one side as too difficult to resolve. These sessions interrogated these issues in the light of proposing solutions.

The three sessions held on 27 April, 18 May and 22 June provided various solutions towards the proposed issues.

Curated by


Robin Nicholson, CBE

Convenor of the Edge and Fellow, Cullinan Studio

Robin uses his long experience as an architect who loves rethinking the way we use buildings, to work with the practice and others to transform our industry; into one where the buildings and places we make have ‘long life, loose fit and low energy’ for the benefit of the users, the clients and the wider world.

Robin acts as convenor of the Edge Thinktank and chairs the Cambridgeshire Quality Panel to help steer thinking towards these goals. He has been an Honorary Professor at Nottingham University since 2013.

Robin Nicholson

Convenor of the Edge

session 1: 27 april 2022

Materials must change

27 April 2022 | 12 pm - 1 pm (BST)

We cannot achieve net-zero construction without net-zero construction materials, but, while materials producers say they have committed to carbon-zero targets, these rely heavily on carbon capture by others rather than committing to investment in new materials technologies. So, the rate of development of suitable materials is moving too slowly, with the government continuing to rely on market forces, while the markets are showing no signs of recognising the problem – let alone fixing it at the scale required. So, the ‘material challenge’ is central to our declared carbon goals, but the tendency is for us to ignore it.

What can drive the change? Are there success stories that we can learn from? How should each of the key players – consultants, contractors, developers – respond and give the investors/funders the confidence to have something in which they can invest that will manage the climate risks of construction?

This session examined the issues and seek solutions.

Louise Ellison

Chief Commercial Officer, Longevity Partners

John Downes

Global Head of Facade Supply Chain, Lendlease

Mike Cook

Visiting Professor, Imperial College London and Chairman, Seratech Ltd

Will Arnold

Head of Climate Action, the Institution of Structural Engineers

Alison Vipond

Sustainability Lead, Ecology Building Society

Graham Dodd

Director, Materials, Arup

session 2: 18 May 2022

Climate change is a health emergency – so how should we respond?

18 May 2022 | 12 pm - 1 pm (BST)

Climate and ecological breakdown are intertwined and leading to an emerging crisis for human health across the planet with the physical impacts of heatwaves, food insecurity, reduced soil fertility, water shortages, extreme weather events, wildfires, the spread of diseases through mosquitoes which will be more prevalent in the UK as the result of climate change etc; the social and economic impacts of climate migration, economic breakdown all impacting on human physical and mental health. There are synergistic interactions between climate change and health and these are likely to be felt more intensely in urban areas in the UK, especially in those of social and economic deprivation with of course the global threat to rural workers, agricultural and food supply chains that will affect us all.

Our professional institutions, local authorities et al have declared “a climate and ecological emergency”. That is step one. Step two is taking action and this must be taken at all levels – personal and professional. Dr Hugh Montgomery will explain why climate change is the greatest threat to global health and set the scene for a conversation on how built environment professionals can and should respond as now is the time for positive responses, with no time for despair. There is much that built environment professionals can do to meet this emergency.

Kristen Guida

Urban Resilience Team,
Greater London Authority

Ann Marie Aguilar

Senior Vice President EMEA and IWBI

Dr Hugh Montgomery OBE

Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, UCL and Director, UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance

Julie Godefroy

Head of Climate Action, the Institution of Structural Engineers

Maria Dunn

Head of Development Policy at Birmingham City Council

session 3: 22 JUNE 2022

The industry needs to undergo radical change to achieve net-zero and respond to the climate emergency – how should that happen?

22 June 2022 | 12 pm - 1 pm (BST)

We have been set the goals – energy efficiency improvements to all buildings by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050, requiring a 12% reduction in heat demand every year to 2050. 

We also know the measures to take, but do we have an industry ready to deliver? How can our industry be transformed to achieve the task – it is a challenge equivalent to nationwide wartime retooling – do we have the outline of a plan?

Keith Clarke CBE

Chair Active Building Centre and Constructionarium

Emma Davies

Principal Sustainability Consultant at Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service

Mark Farmer

CEO, Cast

Clare Shine

Director & CEO, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Alexandra Notay

Placemaking and Investment Director, PfP Capital

Simon Foxell

the Edge and the Architect’s Practice

futurebuild's digital offerings

Exhibitor enquiry


Speak to a member of the team to enquire about exhibiting at Futurebuild 2023.

Sign up to the newsletter

Industry Insider Newsletter

Sign up to the Futurebuild newsletter, Industry Insider News, to be kept up to date with news and information from the built environment.
Sign up here

On Demand

Watch on-demand

Futurebuild 2022 is now available on demand. Relive the content from this year and hear from industry experts and leading associations.
Scroll to Top