SPACES e-news May 2021

Net Zero Carbon and the Climate Emergency

Our chosen theme for SPACES over the coming year will be Net Zero Carbon and the Climate Emergency, and looks to support our members by organising webinars and technical meetings to cover various aspects and challenges on the topic to assist in project delivery. 

As a collaborative organisation, encapsulating all the professions of the Built Environment, we are focussing on how we can work together to meet the UK target to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The emphasis will be on real experiences, lessons learned and the need to work collaboratively to deliver workable solutions to reduce our carbon emissions.

This will be your opportunity to be part a number of events dedicated to public buildings and zero carbon before the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) that commences in Glasgow in November.

Thank you to our sponsors, AtkinsFaithful+GouldIESNPS and Willmott Dixon.


Watch Webinars in your own home or office

Roundtable Discussion

Video and Podcasts 

On Wednesday 26th April, we launched our year of Net Zero Carbon and the Climate Emergency by holding a roundtable discussion  with four leading experts covering the challenges we all face and how they themselves are tackling them in their own organisations. The discussion was focussed on:

How do we decide what to “green” and what to “offset” and is there an acceptable ratio?
What is our ethical responsibility to green assets we no longer need?

Hosted by Alex Gee, we were very pleased to welcome

Marina Robertson, Senior Director, NPS Group
Patrick Begg, Outdoors and Natural Resources Director, National Trust
Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, Director, Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge University
Sheryl French, Programme Director for Climate Change and Energy Investment, Cambridgeshire County Council

You can watch the video on YouTube.

Alex Gee spoke to them beforehand about their career, the important lessons they have learnt, what they think we should do to actively achieve net zero carbon, and why we need to be involved.. You can find links to the podcasts here.


Virtual Conference

Monday 7th to Friday 18th June 2021

Experts from client side, design, construction, academia & the public sector will be discussing Zero Carbon, the Climate Emergency and why we must act now!

There will be the variety of our previous annual Study Days, there will be experts on a wide range of subjects including:
The Latest Technologies
Regulations and Standards
Insights Into Sectors – Schools, Houses, Offices
Design Tools

To minimise disruption to your working day, we will be running early morning and late afternoon webinar sessions over a two week period. You will be able to take part in all the sessions or just those ones that interest you.

The programme is being finalised, so please follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest updates. Tickets will be released on 13th April 2021, but you can register your interest here now.

Free for SPACES* members and for Non members £150+VAt per person for a two week pass. For more information on SPACES membership see our website.

*SPACES membership is FREE for Public Sector Employees.

Thank you to our sponsors, AtkinsFaithful+GouldIES NPS and Willmott Dixon.

Previous webinars have been videoed and the links are available to members by logging into their account and going to the information suite.


Events Calendar – Virtually meet your colleagues

Technical Meeting

Tuesday 29th June @1:00pm

There will be an online Engineering Technical Meeting. The chair for the meeting is Steve Rufus, Vice-President, SPACES and Head of Profession – Engineering.

This meeting is open to all SPACES members, but will be of particular interest to engineers. Please let Fiona know if there is a technical matter that you wish to add to the agenda. 

Please see our website to book your place. 

Technical meetings are free and only for SPACES members. For more information and to book your place see our events calendar or follow this link. NB To receive the invite you must register through the SPACES website. Joining instructions, including the zoom link will be sent the day before. 

NB Technical Meetings will not be videoed. Minutes from the previous meeting are available to members by logging into their account and going to the information suite.
Have you been involved with a Public Building or project that has made a difference to a community?


Yearbook and Awards 2021

Submission Deadline was Friday 26th February 2021

Thank you for your submissions. The judging has started so keep an eye out on our News PageTwitter and LinkedIn for announcement of the shortlist. 

For other ways to be involved with the awards and yearbook, please see our website.


Have you got a question?

SPACES Technical Enquiries

We now have a LinkedIn group for our members to post questions. This is for members only. Please click on this link to join

  1. Do not post anything that you wouldn’t want your Chief Exec or your Mother/Children to see. 
  2. Respect other members of the Group
  3. What happens in the Group chats stays in the group 
  4. This group if for those signed up for SPACES membership only as per our records
  5. The group and the posts are moderated by SPACES, we reserve the right to remove anything that goes against our By-Laws. We have had one technical enquiry this month on what others are doing about lathe and plaster ceilings in their estate? Do you have a monitoring programme in place and if so what information do you record?


Summary of what’s been happening

Useful Information

£280m capital funding boost for children and young people with SEND

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or requiring alternative provision in England will benefit from a £280 million investment, the government has announced today (09 April).
Councils will receive the funding to create new places in schools, academies, colleges and early years settings. The funding will improve existing provision to create modern, fit-for-purpose spaces suited to a wider range of pupil needs. This could be by contributing to the cost of creating a whole new special school, or by improving accessibility, such as installing ramps, handrails or ceiling hoists.

See here for more information. 

Get Home Safe 

An all-female team of transport planners from Atkins has developed ‘Get Home Safe’, a guide for local authorities on small improvements they can make to public spaces to improve safety, particularly for females

See here for more information. 

Independent experts to review safety of construction materials

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has appointed Paul Morrell OBE and Anneliese Day QC to lead an independent review of the system for testing construction products – identifying any weaknesses in the current system and recommending how they can be improved to ensure that the regime for testing construction products is effective and inspires public and market confidence

See here for more information. 

Local authority remote meetings: call for evidence

MHLG are seeking views on the use of the current arrangements which have allowed local authorities to hold meetings remotely or in a hybrid format during the coronavirus pandemic.

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 17 June 2021

See here for more information. 

Consultation launched on new code of practice for external walls

The Government has commissioned the British Standards Institution (BSI) to draft a new code of practice for assessors when carrying out safety assessments on external walls and cladding.

It will ensure assessments are carried out in a consistent manner, help assessors to better advise on the necessity of remediation and give building owners clarity on the fire risk of the construction of external walls.

Access and contribute to the BSI Publicly Accessible Specification (PAS 9980) consultation, before it closes on 20th May. 

See here for more information.