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Jonathan Essex is BioRegional’s Sustainable Construction Manager, assisting the construction sector move up the waste hierarchy by reusing surplus building materials, and to measure and reduce the ‘embodied carbon’ that represents most of construction’s direct carbon impact. Jonathan co-created a business plan for enterprises to reuse surplus building products which exists in new enterprises such as www.yooz.me in Scotland (www.yooz.me) and the www.rebne.co.uk in Middlesbrough. Jonathan led production of a business plan for creating a Social Enterprise EcoPark and is part of Local United (see on-line) pushing for a new co-operative sector to deliver low carbon communities.
BioRegional co-created the One Planet Living framework that sets out how we can shift to one planet living through new approaches to deliver Zero Waste, Zero Carbon and other measures for healthy and happy communities. Initiating sustainable solutions is a key part of ratcheting up the rate that sustainable construction practices are mainstreamed.
This has focused on new approaches to deliver sustainable construction, carbon reduction and sustainable resource management including reclamation and reuse. Further relevant recent work includes:
- Business Plan and development of initiatives to establish 'Building Material Reuse Centres' in the UK, following the model of successful Habitat-for-Humanity Restores in the US. Supported development of first projects in Scotland (Yooz), pilot ‘Re:Build’ project in London, local business plan for Peterborough and reuse clusters across the SE (under the SEEDA funded ZeroWISE programme). This led to production of an information pack of how to set-up a community-led project to reuse resources, as part of the Local United group.
- Business Plan for a Social Enterprise Eco Park to create a centre for reuse and remanufacturing enterprises and innovation hub in the East Midlands.
- Developing model to Franchise Sustainability Hubs by combining reuse/resource enterprises and retrofit/renewables training, advice and products.
- Following the co-production of the ‘Pushing Reuse’ report with Salvo have produced a Business Case for a Construction Reuse Trade Association (2011).
- Investigation and policy research into the total carbon emissions in the UK construction industry and methodology for carbon reduction using a ‘Carbon Column’ linking Bills of Quantities as a means to estimate total climate impact by calculating the carbon intensity of CESSM3 classifications (starting with road maintenance and construction). Proposal put forward by the ICE in their recommendations to the Chief Construction Advisor for his final report in autumn 2010.
- Advisor/reviewer to quantify the overall carbon footprint for the construction and recommendations in the overall Carbon Reduction Strategy for the 2012 Olympics, London.
- Promoting and facilitating the reclamation and reuse of construction products in London and the SE, principally through the working with London councils, demolition contractors, project teams and the London 2012 project Building Schools for the Future programme. Production of outline business plan for a large-scale reclaimed materials yard in London and the best-practice guide a ‘Reclamation led Approach to Demolition’.
- Lectures and presentations on Sustainable Construction including for MSc and undergraduate courses, professional institutions and construction waste events. Co-authored a discussion paper ‘A Challenge to the UK Construction Industry to live within Environmental Limits’.