Sust. is a programme of A+DS that is dedicated to sustainable design in
architecture and the built environment. Sust. aims to raise public awareness of sustainable design and the contribution it can make in delivering a sustainable future, and improve an understanding of sustainable design for those commissioning new buildings.
Based at A+DS's Glasgow offices in the Lighthouse, we are currently
expanding our physical resources development of a physical Materials Library to complement our online Green Directory, with associated training and other events and activities in the newly refurbished A+DS Workshop and are now able to showcase our work in a new exhibition space.
What is Sust?
The Sust. initiative was developed in 2002 in collaboration with the (then) Scottish Executive with the aim of raising public awareness of sustainable design, and how this can contribute to delivering a sustainable future.
One of the key aims of Sust. is to provide a unique web resource – www.sust.org - which allows access to a wide variety of information, resources and guidance on sustainability. While parts of the site are aimed at professionals such as architects and designers, other sections will also be of interest to anyone wanting to know more about this subject. The site brings together an overview of some of the key projects that Sust. has supported since its inception, with a focus on assisting the delivery of sustainable buildings and places.
In November 2009, Sust. became part of Architecture and Design Scotland’s new Glasgow based office at The Lighthouse in Mitchell Lane, and resources are currently being expanded in the Glasgow office with the development of an on-site Materials Library to complement the online Green Directory.
Associated training and other events and activities are currently taking place in the newly refurbished A+DS Workshop in The Lighthouse and a new neighbouring exhibition space allows Sust. related projects to be uniquely showcased. The Sust. programme is funded by The Scottish Government through A+DS.
Over the past nine years Sust. has been responsible for organising a variety of events and activities, ranging from an international conference to an annual Student Award for Sustainable Design.
In addition to hosting its own specific events, Sust. has also delivered joint initiatives, including seminars, conferences and exhibitions in collaboration with like-minded organisations such as: the Building Research Establishment (BRE); the Construction Industry Environment Forum (CIEF); the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland; the Carbon Trust; the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE); Changeworks; the Forestry Commission Scotland’ The Highland Council; The Scottish Solar Energy Group; the Scottish Ecological Design Association; the Scottish Energy Systems Group (SESG); and Homes for Scotland.
In conjunction with a number of key organisations, Sust has been instrumental in the development and delivery of a number of resources aimed at education for sustainability and sustainable development. A prototype for ‘My SUST House’, an interactive game, was also developed and piloted and has since been expanded to address the needs of younger and older children (age range around 8 – 14). My SUST House was subsequently included in Learning and Teaching Scotland’s website resources for Sustainability Education.
A series of high profile exhibitions organised by Sust. have been instrumental in promoting issues of sustainability and include the award winning, international touring exhibition ‘Re:Motion’; and the recently held Lighthouse exhibition ‘Material Consideration: A Natural Factory’ which showcased the past and present uses of indigenous Scottish timber.
To ensure that sustainable design is more widely accessible to clients and professionals Sust. has produced a series of practical tools and techniques.
Key amongst these are the Funding and Green Directories, which provide architects and design specifiers with access to valuable information that can help them to implement sustainable design.
The Funding Directory is a resource that fills a current gap in the market for building professionals to search for and source extra financial assistance in terms of sustainable building projects. The Directory is split into 4 sections allowing the user to search for funding sources relating to the Business Sector, Social Rented/Voluntary Sector, Privately Rented Housing Sector and Owner Occupied Sector projects. The resource was developed by Sust. in collaboration with Misia Jack Consultancy.
If you have any further information on other sources of funding that you think may be useful for others to know about, please contact us by email. We also welcome your feedback.
The Green Directory is the first dedicated resource providing a comprehensive list of products, manufacturers and service providers of green products in Scotland. The entries are referenced according to geographic location to help users to source locally. In Scotland, information can be searched within Local Enterprise Company (LEC) regions. The Green Directory is a partnership project with SEDA (Scottish Ecological Design Association) and the Ecological Design Group at Duncan of Jordanstone, University of Dundee.
If you would like to add a product or company details to the directory please contact Sust.
Training and support in sustainable design has been identified as a key issue for client groups, and Sust. have been keen to be proactive in this field. As a result Sust. operate a Grant Aid scheme offering a limited number of small grants of up to £7,000 for community groups looking to realise projects with a sustainable agenda.
Sust. also provide support in the form of ‘Green Business Strategies’, which offers advice on integrating a sustainable approach into a company or organisation's work practices – a process that can be daunting and time consuming. In terms of local authority training SUST has hosted a series of Six Cities Workshops, helping local authorities in each of Scotland's cities to consider and address sustainability issues as they relate to existing performance criteria of Well Built and Best Value.
With Sust support, the RIAS successfully completed a pilot in sustainable building design accreditation in 2004. This scheme developed from an idea floated by Gaia Research in 2000 as part of their DTI sponsored Sustainable Construction CPD project (www.gaiagroup.org).
Sust. has also developed a number of ‘Sustainable Designs on You’ initiatives, including a study that was produced following a number of requests by housing associations looking for greater guidance and training for maintenance staff. A Sustainable Designs on You training course has also been developed to focus on the elements required to create thriving communities, addressing all aspects of sustainability - from energy and environmental to socio-economic to health issues. Additionally, a Sustainable Designs on You training course has been designed to enable both staff and committee members from housing associations to take a sustainable design approach to their building projects.
Definitions of sustainability have always been difficult to pin down, and the term means different things to different individuals and organisations. Many take a strict, all-or-nothing approach to sustainability while others embrace the issues gradually, allowing change to be integrated into their practices in a phased and manageable way. In response to this need for clarity Sust. is working with a number of organisations to assist those responsible for delivering the aspirations of government, from NGO's to pressure groups and others, by offering advice on the application of policy and guidance in this area. It is hoped that this will also influence future legislation.
Key publications and resources include:
‘Sustainability: Building our Future’, a publication that draws together two Sust. Phase I projects - a Client's Guide to Sustainable schools (commissioned from GAIA Research) and the study undertaken for East Dunbartonshire Council to assist their procurement process (by Parr Architects).
Client Advice Guides, based on work carried out by Gaia Research looking at sustainable design for schools, office buildings, social and private housing, are also currently available to view on the website, as are additional publications, again organised by GAIA, on the Design and Construction of Sustainable Schools
Further resources include a Post Occupancy Evaluation of Maggie’s Centre in Dundee that explores the success of the sustainability features in this small-scale healthcare building. A seminar exploring the origins and growth of POE and its role in contributing towards improved building performance in the future was organised by Sust. and SEDA in 2009 - the details of which can be viewed in full on this site.
A number of excellent examples of sustainable buildings already exist in Scotland and the projects which can be viewed on sust.org combine a sustainable design approach while ensuring that the design quality and social environmental factors are integral to the outcome of the delivery process.
Case studies are continually updated and current and forthcoming examples show different approaches to sustainable design in schools, office buildings, housing, and visitor centres, including the approach taken by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and Glencoe Visitor Centre. Community buildings, including the award winning Recycling Centre and A’Chrannag housing projects on Bute, also feature as do examples of infrastructural approaches to sustainability.