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A grass roots “sustainability revolution” is a necessity, says University expert

Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2013

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A zero carbon specialist from Birmingham City University will be sharing his expertise on grass roots sustainability in a bid to help communities meet tough environmental challenges, such as soaring energy costs and pollution.

Dr Lubo Jankovic, a Reader in Sustainable Design at Birmingham City University, will be speaking this Friday (January 18) at the AGM of Ludlow 21, a Shropshire-based action group campaigning for a sustainable future.

Dr Lubo Jankovic’s talk entitled ‘The Sustainability Revolution – fantasy or necessity?’ will be based on his latest research, part of which has focused on work done to evaluate the Birmingham Zero Carbon House, a ground-breaking carbon-neutral building based on 170-year-old redbrick Victorian house.

Through his study, Dr Jankovic has shown how best to convert existing buildings - from a Victorian terrace to a footballer’s mansion - into zero carbon homes of the future. He also explains how home-owners could also potentially achieve a return on their original investment.

Dr Jankovic said: “As the world population, carbon dioxide emissions and global warming are on the increase and the fossil fuels are undergoing a terminal decline, it is increasingly being recognised that the only way forward for the world is a radical change, referred to as a sustainability revolution.”

He added that his talk will be organised in three parts: “In the first part, an update on the 40 years on since the publication of ‘The Limits to Growth – A Report to the Club of Rome’ will be presented. This will establish where the humanity is in terms of the progress towards the sustainability revolution, and how we got to where we are.

“In the second part, the Birmingham City University research into zero carbon retrofit of buildings will be discussed. It will be shown that buildings can achieve energy-neutral and carbon-neutral performance using existing technologies, but only with advanced design analysis methods that maximise technical, social and economic performance of buildings.

“The third part of the talk will discuss how financial resources can be better deployed in order to achieve sustainable development. Money as it is, and money as it can be, will be discussed, explaining the precedents and benefits of local currencies, and their role in sustainable development.

“The talk will conclude with a consolidation of the three parts and an assessment of what we need to do so as to put the planet back into balance and the humanity onto a sustainable trajectory.”

Get more information about Dr Lubo Jankovic’s work on zero carbon buildings.

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