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23 May 2024



Reflecting on my day at FOOTPRINT+ last week and my main takeaway - the mood was positive! Developments in sustainable buildings, particularly in developing the circular economy, still have a long way to go but it was heartening to hear of exciting research, case studies and to realise just how many people and efforts are growing in this space.

One highlight was Reusefully Ltd’s session on glass recycling opportunities. We learnt that 214,000T of waste construction glass are produced each year in the UK. Compare that to the fact that, on average, glass across Europe is produced with <1% recycled content. This linear model for glass manufacture is even more of a pertinent issue (and opportunity for change!) when you consider glass is 70% sand, a finite resource. As Nils Rage put it – if we want to use glass on future projects, we need to start refuelling the machine.

Other interesting discussions included Will Arnold and co. looking at concrete developments in the supply chain and why GGBS isn’t the silver bullet to low carbon concrete. I’m also looking forward to reading the new UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) guidance presented, “Improving the accuracy in the modelling and reporting of embodied carbon modelling”, and bringing the suggestions into our work at Expedition Engineering Ltd.

It was great to finish the day with a session lead by Anne Fehrenbach and the Museum of London on the design work that went into making the retrofit of Smithfield Market possible. Old Billingsgate Market was a perfect setting for the session - another piece of Horace Jones’ work restored and repurposed into a space made more interesting by its sense of history and charm. It was lovely to see the work my old team have been doing recently at the Museum and a reminder that I can’t wait to go and visit when they open.

Thanks to the Useful Simple Trust for sending me along, looking forward to continuing the conversations.



By Kimberley Ertl,


Expedition Engineering