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#NGS National Green Specification
A Specification for the 21st Century


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GBE Green Building Encyclopaedia
One stop shop for environmental construction know-how

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#1773: 22/05/2015: TGR Steering Group Meeting in Bristol

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ABOUT > PAGES > 1482

NGS National Green Specification
About: History

Whilst writing the specification for the New British Library Exhibition Hall furniture, Friends of the Earth book Good Wood Guide was published and brought into focus the choice to use an endangered species a richly coloured and interestingly figured Afromosia hardwood, stain it black and coat it with 4 layers of acid catalyst lacquer, so it felt and looked like plastic. BrianSpecMan's objections were ignored by the Architects, this started the long road to NGS.

Made proposals to book publishers to write a green specification, no interest yet.

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1998: BrianSpecMan organised a CIIG visit to Construction Resources UK's first green builders merchant to see their showroom, demonstration and exhibition centre and training and meeting rooms, to meet Lucy Pedler a materials specialist and guide for the day. Asked about their product range and if they had specification clauses for them, no they did not but they should write them themselves. Later BrianSpecMan returned to write the specification clauses for them.

1999: Invited by Lucy Pedlar to talk at the Building newspaper's RIBA Conference Green is the Colour about legislation driving environmental design, at that time there was almost none. Created a chronology of the green movement up to 1999 to educate BrianSpecMan quickly. Coined Violet definition for everything not green.

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1999 April: BrianSpecMan in ASWS specification consultancy made a public declaration of intent to work with designers adopting sustainable approaches to building in the future and to influence others in this area.  He was lucky that many of his existing clients welcomed the opportunity to green up their act, others did not and were left behind. 

1999-2014: NGS CPD and NGS Lectures are offered to any organisation for in-house training or other seminars and workshops, in 15 years over 800 seminars on sustainable construction, procurement, specification and professional practice have been developed and most delivered to audiences in the industry, occasionally to the general public and often to students of Architecture, Landscape, Interiors, etc. from BSc Bachelors Degree to MSc Masters level.

2001: Set a process in motion to get a green specification in place describing products with the right environmental credentials and performance characteristics available in or from the UK.

2001: Invited to speak at the AECB annual conference, became a member, joined the steering committee organising visits, events and conference programme. Later organised joint AECB & TGR visits.

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2001 November: NGS National Green Specification was launched by BrianSpecMan, to create a one stop shop encyclopaedia of green construction, to set out to re-educate the construction Industry on all matters about green building and environmental construction.  NGS's aim is to provide information for designers and specifiers, that is useful to all parties in the construction process from demand to supply, from client to facilities manager, from manufacturter to installer and from deconstructor to reseller.

Invited to join the core committee developing East of England Sustainable Construction Stratergy run by the SDRT Sustainable Development Round Table and GOEast Government Office East of England

Invited to join the steering committe of the DTI PII funded project Book Building with Reclaimed Components and Materials, A Design Handbook for Reuse and Recycling


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After attending the first outing of TGR The Green Register SBS Sustainable Building and Services 2 day training course organised by Lucy Pedlar; BrianSpecMan was invited to become a speaker on the 2nd day optional workshops later joining the TGR Steering Committee


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2003: NGS's first major output is GreenSpec website edited and written by Sandy Patience, which is good at what it does, but its scope is too narrow; it failed to engage with its users or establish a membership group, failed to deliver the encyclopaedia originallly intended; failed to engage with manufacturers and failed to become financially autonomous.


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2004 to 2006: BRE Resource Efficiency department with ASWS & GreenSpec carried out a 2 year DTI PII funded project on Waste and Recycling to develop Waste Management Specifications and recycled content product pages on GreenSpec Website and update BREMAP content; leading to many SWMP workshops and other resource efficiency projects with WRAP, EA, UKCEED, Kier, CE, Envirowise, Responsible Solutions, BioRegional, Salvo, etc.

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2007: Sandy proposed MyGreenSpec and specification assembly tool with a Graphic User Interface, with Burdens Environmental financial support, Sandy Patience, BrianSpecMan and Steve Porter went on to create and show at EcoBuild 2008. Renamed GreenSpecSTUDIO in 2011 and disappeared in 2014.


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2007: Met Dr Carol Williams of Bat Conservation Trust at EcoBuild which lead to involvememt in Q&A panels & seminars at BCT annual conferences. BrianSpecMan promoted the idea of an authoritative book on how to incorporate bats and birds in high performance buildings. 


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2008: NGS BrianSpecMan became a project member of CAP’EM Cycle Assessment Procedure for Eco Materials, 10 organisation in 5 NW European countries with Interreg funding, once complete in 2013/14 it can offer a potential equivalent to BRE’s Environmental Profiles. Later named CAP'EM COMPASS.


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2008: Invited to join a committee objecting to BRE Green Guide to Specifiction edition 4 and the Green Guide website which is effectively preventing the sales of real green construction materials and methods, BrianSpecMan authored the draft critique of the BRE Green Guide issued by Good Homes Alliance to Government Department DCLG. After 4 years this group continues as ASBP.


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2009: BrianSpecMan launched a second major output, a collection of CPD and Specification files hosted on scribd which has grown to 300 files which have been opened 262,519 (11/04/2014) times by users.


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2009: BrianSpecMan opened accounts in Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIN to start drawing attention to scribd and GreenSpec, CAP’EM & later NGS websites.


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2009: RIBA Publishing & Dr Carol Williams inviited BrianSpecMan to help create the authoritative book on bats and birds and high performance buildings

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2010: ASBP & CAP'EM exhibited and Bat Conservation Trust, RIBA Publishing and BrianSpecMan launched the book 'Biodiversity for low and Zero Carbon Buildings: A Technical Guide for New Build' at EcoBuild '10


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2011-2014: Approached by Sofie Pelsmakers to review/contribute to her draft Environmental Design Pocket Book reviewed chapters 4, 5, 7, 8 & 9.  
GreenSpec sponsored book which launched at EcoBuild 2012. 
NGS Sponsored 2nd edition published 2014.


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2012: NGS has set off on a third major output and established a separate NGS website to continue with its original quest:


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2013: Kelly Gunnell, BrianSpecMan, Dr Carol Williams & Dan Ward started updating the Biodiversity book with refurbishment, landscape, infrastructure, 3D drawings, and ran workshops to promote the book once published.


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2013 November: NGS BrianSpecMan helped launch CAP’EM Cycle Assessment Procedure for Eco-Impacts of Materials, COMPASS Building product Comparison System a potential equivalent to BRE’s Environmental Profiles. 


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June 2013: after 10 years BrianSpecMan departed GreenSpec, leaving Sandy Patience as GreenSpec Ltd. to continue on his own.


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2014: BrianSpecMan as part of the CAP'EM team has started the European Commission's PEF Product Environmental Footprinting Pilot Programme for thermal insulation, a 3 year programme leading to a replacement for LCA Life Cycle Assessment or a closer alignment between them.


2014: BrianSpecMan is focusing on Green Building Encyclopaedia website, supporting manufacturers and suppliers to deliver information required to help specifiers to adopt their products and make the changes in construction practice that are essential.


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2014: Invited onto and joined the Ska Technical Committee


2014: Exploring opportunities to develop NGS 3D VIEW with TSB SME R&D 3 phase funding. shown at EcoBuild 2014


2014: NGS HERACEY: Healthy, Environmental, Resourceful, Appropriate, Competent, Effective, Yardstick announced at EcoBuild 2014

Detailed information to help in its delivery, including:

Dowloadable files:

More design guidance to help put all of the above into context:

These will allow you to look at any topic in detail.

The purpose of this website is to offer a resource library of downloadable files accumulated or created and presented over a few decades of project commissions, interactions with individuals, building professionals, clients, students, construction organisations and Government departments.


2014: CAPEM after Interreg

November 2014 CAPEM team presented CAPEM Compass tool to the [avniR] LCA Conference and anounced CAPEM will continue as a European Legal Entity to progress with CAPEM LCA activity.
We submitted a bid for Life+ European Funding Build4LIFE project, fingers crossed. 


2015: NGS & GBE Green Building Encyclopaedia & NGS 3D VIEW

With the imminant final payment from CAPEM and 7 years back payments from LSBU: NGS is going on a marketing campaign and building a new website, seeking grants to enable this and starting a Crowd Funding Campaign to create the 3D interface to the encyclopaedia.  The launch is now expected to be at VISION LONDON June 2015. 


For more information about the people behind NGS National Green Specification.


This new website already attracts over 2500 page views per day, 100,000 page views per month and 1,000,000 page views per year, See NGS WEBSTATS for more details.


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Keep coming back

The site is embrionic but the content is constantly being updated, its drawn from the output of nearly 4 decades of project consultancy, exhibitions, conferences, workshops and meeting others.  

Please keep coming back to see what else has been added that can help you become a more informed, environmentally aware individual capable of influencing others.

See the right hand column on this page to see the lastest additions.


Stay in touch:

Follow @BrianSpecMan on TwitterFaceBook and LinkedIN


Low Cost CPD seminars, Specifications and other stuff:

The downloads are in return for a small payment to cover administration cost that will help  NGS Download content to develop more rapidly.

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£0.88p for a CPD download

We hope if you find this service useful then we may be able to Match Fund our involvement in more European research projects like CAP'EM, CAP'EM extension, EnvireoiBuildGREENPEF and TransEco

If you are reluctant to pay without knowing what you are buying there are a few sample files to get a preview to reassure you they are worth paying for.


NGS National Green Specification Registration

Registration is required for all file downloads to enable us to understand more about the spread of NGS website users and the their needs, to enable NGS to focus, develop and deliver information of particular use.

Registration will allow you to record your main activity or profession and your areas of interest and information searches will be matched to those same categories to bring relevent information to your attention.  You can also carryout open searches to look at anything and everything on the site. 

Registration would allow NGS to inform you when files you have downloaded are updated or others in a similar subject are added.


© NGS GBE BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
17th December 2012 - 2nd February 2015