The Sixth International SEEDS (Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society) Conference took place on 2-3 September 2020. Leeds Beckett University hosted the conference online for the first time and welcomed delegates from across the world who are all experts in their field. The University worked in partnership with Technological University Dublin, The University of Suffolk and The University of The West of England.
A national climate emergency has been declared and although some nations are still in denial, time is of the essence as the moment for action slips away. More than any other sector, the built environment has a responsibility to use less resource and develop environments so that they are net zero. There is a need to consider how the built and natural environment can be integrated for natural carbon capture and ensure eco and biodiversity is restored. The places that we live and work, and our national ecosystems need to be sustainable, if we are to slow down greenhouse gas emissions, which continue to grow at an accelerating pace. Current methods of development have led to a loss of biodiversity that presents an immediate danger to our eco system needs and food security. Notwithstanding the increasing threat that we are imposing on future generations, current living conditions, toxic emissions and the loss of biodiversity is affecting us now, our urban habitats are inherently unhealthy.
The built environment has a significant role to play in climate change, it uses more natural resources and produces more waste than any other industry. That in mind, research is being applied to address the balance between the built and natural environment and reduce emissions and waste. It is essential that we rapidly draw expertise and centres of knowledge together to address and better understand the action required.
The SEEDS Conference brings together experts from around the world focusing on sustainability agenda and the positive and detrimental changes that are taking place. As well as addressing technical issues, measuring energy efficiency and modelling energy performance, emphasis is placed on the health and wellbeing of the users of spaces occupied and enclosed. Understanding how buildings and spaces are designed and nurtured to obtain the optimal outcome is the focus of discussion and debate. This holistic approach draws together the research themes of energy, building performance and physics while placing health, wellbeing and ecology at the heart of the conference.
Through review, research and proven practice, the SEEDS Conference fosters ideas on how to reduce negative impacts on the environment while providing for the health and wellbeing of society. The professions and fields of research required to ensure buildings meet user demands and provide healthy enclosures are many and diverse. The SEEDS Conference addresses the interdependence of people, the built and natural environments, and recognises the interdisciplinary and international themes necessary to assemble the knowledge required for positive change.