Nick Gonios
October 19, 2021
34 min.

The Circulist Quest #2

<iframe src="" width="100%" height="232" frameBorder="0" allowfullscreen="" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; fullscreen; picture-in-picture"></iframe>

About the Episode

Episode 02: Show Notes

Today on the Circulist Quest Podcast, Nick Gonios speaks to Sara Wilkinson, professor of sustainable buildings at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her focus is on green cities and preparing our urban environments for the challenges of climate change. So how big is the sustainability challenge across the built world? What happens with all the waste that’s produced from construction all across the board?Don’t fret, it’s not all bad news! It’s been shown in a recent PWC Circular Economy Report that a circular built environment could generate $770 billion in direct economic benefits over 20 years and save 3.6 million tons of CO2 per year in Australia alone, by 2040. Tune in today as we talk to Sara all about sustainable building, what a green building really is, challenges that hinder the delivery of sustainability, the modular design and system, and we get Sara’s thoughts and ideas on many other aspects of this sector. You don’t want to miss this conversation!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Sara shares more about her background and how she came to be passionate about her job; what is a green building?
  • What proves to be a challenge when it comes to delivering on sustainability; we aren’t all on the same page.
  • What it is about sustainable building that continues to push Sara to persevere down this path?
  • Sara brings simplicity with the wording when it comes to the language surrounding sustainability.
  • We talk about modular design and system and what it means to sustainability.
  • Sara shares thoughts on buildings and materials that stand the test of time and adaptability.
  • Tech Precinct Building: her thoughts on the building and its sustainability.
  • How to deal with the challenges that are present with regards to sustainability; safe to fail.
  • Very rarely do we teach people how to operate a house or a building; how this can save you a lot of energy.
  • Can we really fix the climate crisis with sustainable buildings?
  • Adaptive reuse: an 800-year-old golf clubhouse and the London Towers.
  • What Sara is excited about and looking at getting deeper into and her final thoughts on the sector.

Quotable Quotes:

“What is a green building? A green building is an essentially contestable concept — it means all things to all people.” — Sara Wilkinson [0:05:20]

“We really need to think about human behaviour, because again we can design all these fabulous buildings, but if people don’t know how to operate them are we getting the best out of them?” — Sara Wilkinson [0:21:30]

“Very rarely do we teach people how to operate a house or a building and just knowing a few things about when to open and close windows and draw curtains or blinds, can actually save you a lot of energy.” — Sara Wilkinson [0:21:55]

“If you count up all the bedrooms we’ve got in houses that are not used, there are more than enough rooms for nobody to be out on the street. It’s about the distribution of resources and ownership.” — Sara Wilkinson [0:29:10]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Sara Wilkinson on LinkedIn
The Shock of the New

Host Nick Gonios
Produced by Jim Lounsbury

Episode Transcript

Nick Gonios: 0:06Hi, everyone. Welcome to The Circulist Quest podcast. I'm Nick Gonios. And today we're going to be talking with Sara Wilkinson, Professor of sustainable buildings at the University of Technology Sydney. Her focus is on green cities and preparing our urban environments for the challenges of climate change. So how big is the sustainability challenge across the built world? Well, approximately 40% of global materials are used for construction. And in the European Union, current construction and demolition waste accounts for approximately 25 to 30% of the total waste generated and consists of numerous materials, many of which can be recycled, but it's not all bad news. In a recent PwC circular economy report, a circular built environment could generate $773 billion dollars in direct economic benefits over 20 years, and save 3.6 million tonnes of co2 per year in Australia alone by 2040. So Sara, that's a long winded way o get to get a conversation tarted. But thanks for joining e on The Circulist Quest. Why on't you tell me a bit about our background? I'm intrigued y the way that you guys have ot started in the space and our passion and interest in Be ure your academic and research areer in sustainable buildings.Sara Wilkinson: 1:22

Thanks, Nick. Hi. And yeah, there's a lot of statistics there. I think my brain is about to explode. But yeah, I mean, the way I got into this, it was 1988. It was July, I was seven months pregnant working in the UK, and I've been asked to go and inspect a property of Victorian property in northern Wales in a place called Llandudno. Yep, I drove up there from London in my foxhole, Viva. It was a July day so it's quite warm in the UK. So I was wearing a nice white dress I did on the inspection in the property and I had to check the remedial works have been done. And I gone through the whole list. The last thing on the list was some dry rot in the roof space. Now dry rot is a fungus that really attacks timber and undermines its strength. So I really needed to check that out. And yeah, like an idiot, I had forgotten my ladder and it was a unoccupied flat above a shop. And there was a table and chair so I put the chair on the table and sort of leverage myself up into the roof space and roofs are hotter than you know heat rises and I expanded my torch around. Shawn my tote around and it was good. All the dry rot had been addressed. So when to go back down, and then realise that I had expanded a bit and I didn't have any stomach muscles that worked anymore. And getting back down was a bit of a problem anyway, but after a lot of shuffling and yeah, so imagine my legs hanging out of the roof space. I got out and of course Victorian roof spaces pretty messy white dress, I was absolutely covered in like a been dragged through a hedge backwards. Wow. As I walked across the street, I was so thrilled to be out of that room space because it's all pre mobile phones. I couldn't find anyone to rescue me in a rising anyway, got back to the office. The next day, I was the only female civilian they had in the practice and explained what had happened to me at that stage. No one would go out on site with me anyway, because they were all convinced that I would go into labour and they would have to deliver a baby in a. So anyway, they came back to me and they said look, one of our clients, which was BP british petroleum, they just spill millions of gallons of oil into Prince William Sound, which was a pristine, natural environment in North America, Canada. They were looking at sort of ways to improve their environmental image. And so the partner of the firm said to me, look, we'd like you to look at environmental services, we could offer beeping in buildings, and I said what do you mean environmental services and brand building what you mean painted green and we're not really sure go and find out. So I started reading all these books that predated my university thing. All these books about green buildings, environmentally friendly buildings, environmentally sensitive buildings. It's like they had sentience. Great buildings with a capital G, green buildings with a lowercase G. And I'm thinking, are these things the same? Or are they different? So that then ended up with me doing a name fail with the research question was what is a green building? Right. And what I found out from that is a green building is an essentially contestable concept. It means all things to all people. So it's a bit like home. So for some people, home is an investment. For some people home is a sanctuary. For some people, certainly home is a place of conflict and misery. So we all have different concepts. And when we talk about if we tend to just assume that we're all on the same page, but we're not. And that has been really one of the challenges in delivering on sustainability, because we're all thinking about different things. So for some people, it is completely off grid, you know, completely renewable. for other people. It's a little bit of insulation in the roof. And

Nick Gonios: 6:10

you're good. Yep. Yeah, yeah, it's such a broad topic. And it's such a, you know, there's so much language that gets used out there with regards to all these topics, like sustainable buildings and circular economy and green. And, you know, there's so meta for a lot of people that, you know, it's a bit daunting or just don't know where to start. And that's sort of part of your journey now is to try and demystify a bit of that, I would think, and trying to bring back some evidence and examples of and research and what's going on.

Sara Wilkinson: 6:37

Yeah, that's true. I mean, I started teaching a course called environmental building, practising in Sheffield in 1991.

Nick Gonios: 6:46

Wow, pre internet days.

Sara Wilkinson: 6:49

Yeah. I mean, I said to my students, so you know, when you go out into industry and graduate, nobody's talking about this year, but I think it will happen during your career. And I found also, at the beginning, I would go to conferences, and I would have the only paper on sustainability, right? I can remember one where a guy came up to me, and he looked at my name tag, and he said, Ah, so you're the earth biscuit? Yeah, quite like it. I haven't found anywhere else to live.

Nick Gonios: 7:29

Wow, isn't that amazing? Right? Yeah. What is it about sustainable buildings that sort of continue to persevere down this pathway in your career? Like, it just

Sara Wilkinson: 7:38

makes sense to me? You know, why would you not use natural materials with low carbon content and design with the environment, rather than try and get a design that really doesn't work with the environment that you've got to use extra heat or extra energy to heat and cooling? Just because you want a lot of glazed area or something cool?

Nick Gonios: 8:05

The challenge isn't, there's a big challenge in the whole economy or the system to, you know, actually execute upon that in a way that actually I was gonna say in that makes sense. But that doesn't make sense at all. But the construction sector is the largest in the world, right. But it's the most inefficient, it's the slowest moving, I compare it to my 30 years in software and technology. And it's adapted so fast in terms of being quite, you know, I don't like using the word agile, but it's been able to be flexible and adapt, you know, adaptable and, and move forward in terms of continuous improvement. But I've just observed from afar relatively, and it's such a challenge to see the sector take so long to adapt and change. So

Sara Wilkinson: 8:47

yeah, I think often that's because so many projects are quite unique. You know, it might be that, yes, we're building roads and tunnels, and they're all the same, but the areas that they're going through the soil and the strata, and the you know, they're all different. So each project is unique. And with construction, you know, most people want to have a certain amount of individuality in housing. And, obviously, is, you know, there's often a competition in terms of design to make things look different to show or innovation and styles change. You know, if you look at architectural styles over the decades, they evolve and changes, materials use changes. So I think that's probably been one of the reasons why it hasn't adopted the or got the gains that you found in the software sector.

Nick Gonios: 9:49

It's interesting because I mean, there are examples of organisations who are transforming in this space around sort of modular, you know, flexible sort of designs and offsite manufacturing. So bringing productization to the sector, right, in order to, you know, eliminate or at least reduce waste and sort of inefficiencies in the process. So, there are plenty of examples, you know, one in the US company called us calcaterra. That was a SoftBank venture backed company that went through massive high growth, but they basically stuck to building a operating system that that helped them cookie cut in inverted commas, multifamily blocks, or, you know, our equivalent sort of apartment blocks here in Australia, that actually could be, you know, modularly, built over time really fast through this sort of factories of sight. And so the taken to particular locations, targeting specifically the essential worker market in urban cities, right? It's sad to say they've gone into administration funding, because they went, they grew too fast. But we've got similar organisations in Australia, like hickory and others that are actually building modular capabilities. Do you see library sustainability? Sort of how do you see sort of, it's sort of this language gets thrown around everywhere. And I'm sort of conscious of the fact that spending the words a circular economy, this is valuable buildings and buildings, and like Kevin would bring some sense of simple language and ability to explain it to people in simple ways that we are sort of moving forward in a good way.

Sara Wilkinson: 11:14

Yeah, I think the thing with the modular building is a bit of a double edged sword, right? You know, it first to my knowledge kicked off sort of after World War Two, when there was so much bombed damaged buildings in Europe. And we really needed to house people when, you know, reasonable accommodation, a lot of the Victorian buildings at the time, were also very damp and cold and slums. So they started building, they couldn't prefab, or prefabricated housing. And the Australian sort of term is offsite manufacturing. Right? That's all very good. Because within the factory, you can control the conditions. And so you know how much materials you're using, and you can optimise all of those processes. The challenges with the modular design is how they perform over time in terms of their durability and their performance. And as we know, standards are being improved all the time. So the standards for energy efficiency, for ventilation for fire, these are all sort of things that change over time. So inevitably, some buildings will need upgrading at some point, or just repairing just through wear and tear exposure to the elements. Now, modular systems, because they've been designed in the factory for assembling the factory, they haven't necessarily thought about repairing, replacing, extending, altering. And that can be the challenge is that they're less easy to do, then, which might then mean that demolition becomes a cheaper option, or the only viable option to auto rebuilding at some point in the future.

Nick Gonios: 13:17

Yes, there is a whole nother can of worms. Right. So yeah, you know, it's interesting, because the observation from my point of view has been the fact that the system, the economic system, the system that we live in, operate in sort of where we live, work and play, so to speak, to use some built environment speak, you know, is designed for, even at the design and conceptualization phase and then construction phase and the finalisation of that to have all those assets actually owned by the landlord, like 100%, predominantly, right? And then what opens up is this phase of managing and upgrading that I said, as a landlord versus who's never been involved in designing or producing any of these materials in these. So therefore, how am I expected to know how they're going to perform over time? And why should it be my responsibility, right, looking at a at a macro objective view of perspective not being in the sector. And it's something that just challenges me every day and what we're doing here, it's circular. So, you know, the big question is, what does that mean? Like, you know, at a macro level, is the system flawed to the fact that we expect the sector to, you know, continue to maintain these sort of facilities management operating mode that is relatively broken and flawed, in my view, and puts the onus back onto landlords and tenants to manage? Right.

Sara Wilkinson: 14:35

Yeah, it is a very complex system. And again, different people's background and expertise, you know, will lead them to different solutions and different ideas. I mean, I think, again, sort of looking at the recent past sort of post World War Two, we've had so many innovations in our capacity to build Tall structures, for example. So we look at a lot of our office buildings, they're now 50 6070 8090 storeys high, you know, we, we've never been able to build that high that large, you know, in all of our years of existence on the planet and the millennium. And now all of a sudden, we're building these buildings. And yet, you know, relatively speaking, we don't have much historical record of how these buildings perform over time, you know, we look at our timber frame buildings that are still existing, you know, 1000s of years, you know, our stone built buildings, you know, from Greece and Italy. Really? Yeah. You know, they're still around, they stood the test of time, and they've been adaptable. And again, when you look at the materials used in those buildings, they're very simple. They're stone, they're timber, they're not combinations of lots of different things. Yes. So we're very much on a learning curve, I think, yeah. In terms of how things perform over time, and how we all try and adapt them.

Nick Gonios: 16:21

Yeah, I was impressed to see you a gratefully invited me to a day in the life of what you do at UPS. And both of presented to a bunch of, I think it was terrible, undergraduate postgraduate students, I, one of your bosses, then prior to that I do remember the Atlassian had a property presenting on what they're doing with the tech precinct building, which is going to be quite revolutionary, in terms of, you know, this question of a sustainable building for, you know, in terms of what it stands for, and how it you know, it's going to test the edges of how they can actually build it. But I was quite impressed by what they're trying to do there. Apart from the fact geographic areas as a building, it's going to be amazing in terms of applying sustainability lens to it. What are your

Sara Wilkinson: 16:59

thoughts on that? Yeah, no, I totally agree. And like you say, so it's a breath of fresh air sometimes to have people that don't have a an architecture construction background. Yeah, that can imagine and visualise a space. That's very, very different. And I think sometimes, because you do have that construction or architecture background, things get suggested and all of a sudden, you can say that, Oh, no, you don't want to do that. Because you know, this a new negative rather than being open to, oh, well, maybe we could do that, you know, maybe the way that we've been doing it previously, has had its day and we need to look at something different and new.

Nick Gonios: 17:45

How do we deal with these challenges? Because I mean, there's, there's so many stakeholders, there's there's government with policy, there's sort of, you know, producers of materials, there's, you know, service firms sort of rolling out doing their thing, is academia playing an important part, like, how do we deal with it? It's such an open ended question, but

Sara Wilkinson: 18:02

at ease, and when you find the answer, let me know. With some of the things I think being safe to fail, so having the courage to experiment and do something different, but doing it at a scale where it's safe to firm, it is reversible, you haven't committed millions and millions of dollars on a huge Yes, development. And that's what I liked about the Atlassian. team, they were talking about trying little things out here and there, to see how they went. I think that's a good approach to have

Nick Gonios: 18:45

those a good analogy coming from your New South Wales Government for the unnecessary federal government, actually through asik, the Australian Securities and investment commission, I think I know the full name of the acronym, but have basically for the FinTech, for the financial technology sectors, you know, the, the new sort of new young vendors coming through around the FinTech space, credit, a safe haven, so to speak, for innovation to happen in the industry on the edge with an innovation sandbox, Funny enough, so and it was quite, it sort of was on the edge of playing with sort of regulatory changes, and for government working together with private sector and sort of different stakeholders to innovate on the edge of finance, you know, in a way that was sort of safeguarded, so to speak. And it's sort of sandbox innovation sandbox. And I would think, you know, you could apply those same fundamental principles and as a management approach to the bill Ward sector in doing what you've just said, and what others are trying to do, but I don't see a lot of that happening. I mean, I do we sort of precincts, you know, Google's done their thing with precinct which actually failed in Toronto for other reasons, but there are many other you know, I'm interested to see what your thoughts are on how can we drive more innovation to start cutting through some of these mega challenges?

Sara Wilkinson: 20:00

Well, I think the last sort of 1820 months has shown us all, we've all experienced unbelievable change to our lives. Yes. So I think it certainly showed us all that we can't just assume that things are gonna stay the same. And business as usual, it's just going to be, as it always was. And with slow change, sometimes you get these sort of quite disruptive events, and I think, but hopefully, again, to create the space where people may feel that, okay, we need to do things differently. It's not the same as it was, I read a book years and years ago, as a teenager caught the shock of the new, which was about art. And Robert Hughes wrote it, and it was about art, how that tends to show, but also how people sometimes when they are confronted with something new, it's sort of scares them a bit, you know, this is the way I do things. And this is the way I think, and I don't know how to change my behaviour. So I think that's another huge kind of black hole, really, that you go in. And I have written a couple of articles called sort of behave yourself, which is about, you know, how we really need to think about human behaviour, because again, we can design all these fabulous buildings and spaces, but if people don't know how to operate them, and again, I use the analogy of learning to drive so I had to do 120 hours, I had to have an instructor next to me or experienced driver. And then I had to take a test and I had to pass the test before I got a licence. Yes. Nobody ever teach, well, nothing, nobody, but very rarely do we teach people how to operate a house building. And so just knowing that a few things about when to open and close windows and draw curtains or blinds, you know, can actually save you a lot of energy, or because your house doesn't heat up so quickly. It can make it interesting,

Nick Gonios: 22:16

isn't it because the built world is sort of it's so unique, by you know, kilometre square metre to, you know, globally around here, because every location, so different. So you need to be able to design for sustainable built world environments accordingly for location in place, right. So it's also part of that, how do you apply productization and sort of efficiencies and gains in your approach to that when geography is different? everywhere, right, and locations are different?

Sara Wilkinson: 22:42

Yeah, absolutely. And, I mean, it's quite funny, really, because, I mean, as you can tell from my accent, I come from England. And so okay. Let's get that out there. I'm from I'm proud. But, uh, you know, I came to Australia and I have never been as cold in buildings as I am in Australia. And I was so not expecting that, because I thought it was warm and sunny, and what have you. And my sister lives in Canada. And again, they have four feet of snow, you know, in the winter, although they did have a green Christmas again this year, which really freaked her out. But never been so cold is in Australian housing. And I think because we've had probably relatively low cost for energy for electricity. You know, it hasn't been a particularly big issue. And, you know, because it hasn't, it's what people get used to and accustomed to. But again, we had in the UK, I think energy prices really went up. And so originally, energy efficiency was introduced not as an environmental goal, it was actually an economic way of saving money.

Nick Gonios: 24:05

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it's a big issue here is that you go to Europe and it's just so different in the way that I do things like your, you know, double the triple, you know, triple glazed windows and, you know, ceilings and so just seals and, you know, you see even property has been built just a residential level in Australia and how they operate and you you literally robbed up every night hopefully not have to pay so much in electricity costs within agitating the whole house, right, or, or keeping it cool during summer. Right. So I'd understand you know, at a simple level, why that happens, but at a macro level would actually lead into a really good question that I have for you is can we really fix the climate crisis with sustainable buildings? Can we really Sara?

Sara Wilkinson: 24:46

Well, we should have a go.

Nick Gonios: 24:51

That is true. That is my spirit, for sure.

Sara Wilkinson: 24:52

Yes, we absolutely have to try because as you were saying in your introduction, the Built Environment as a whole. So if you look at all the buildings, the houses, the shops, the offices, factories, the whole lot that contributes about 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That's right. So it has a huge impact. And so what we should do is we should look at best practices in sustainable design for new buildings, but also look at improving these existing stock. Because typically in a year, we add sort of somewhere between one and 2% to the total stock of buildings. And even in the flat out boom period, we may be just between two and 3% of the total stock of buildings, right? So the majority of the stock is here. And that's what we need to retrofit and convert using sort of best practices and sustainability and resilience to ensure that we improve the performance of what we've got.

Nick Gonios: 26:08

Yeah. And clearly adaptive reuse, which is a term that I'm hearing more and more in the in sort of the built world space is sort of the the opportunity in frontier, I would think in terms of talking about adaptive reuse, you probably opportunity to explain a bit about it. But there are so many, many opportunities to reconsider. Not just a feature in that process, but the whole operating approach to thinking about adaptive reuse. I actually think it's just a massive opportunity to completely think about, you know, fixing these problems in our buildings that we have, right?

Sara Wilkinson: 26:38

Absolutely. Absolutely. The the village that I grew up in, in Essex, the golf club, the golf club, the golf club. Yep. It's a mediaeval building. It was a manor house, it was a manor house for the Berlin family, Henry the Eighth chapter and head off. Yeah, it had a moat had a moat around it. And so this is a building that's been in use for 800 years plus, wow. You know, and it said various playing golf back then. I don't think they were too busy. Chopping people's heads off. Was the game they play. But they filled them out in because I think they didn't want the golfers sort of coming out the clubhouse and go for a swim. But yeah, so I mean, if you look around, I mean, the the terror in London is another example. I think it's been a prison, a home fortress, an armoury. And now it's a tourist attraction continually in use, all of its out of its time,

Nick Gonios: 27:52

it says a lot about our mega cities that we want to go after as a mega trend. And so they continue to build this urban sprawl that is ultimately going up, right versus out. And like, you're reusing the current, you know, environment the way it is. I'm no expert in that area. But it just seems like everyone's been talking mega cities. And we're gonna, you know, haven't you know, so many people are going to move to mega cities over the next 50 years, and it's going to get tighter and more compact, and cities are trying to navigate and work out how they become more resilient. And the challenges that come with that is like, does that really make sense in a sustainable circular economy world? I mean, if there's so much stuff that's existing, that's actually not being, you know, rethought about from that perspective, can we solve the climate crisis with that? Has we hit more? Or? Or can we solve for the 17 SDG goals? Or at least some of them that exists to to try and, you know, save our planet, ultimately, or more save humanity than our planet? Because they're planning will probably continue going. Right. Yeah. But that's, that's the bigger issue.

Sara Wilkinson: 28:52

Yeah, it'd be an interesting place. I mean, this is what you've touched on here is a lot of places are under occupied. You know, and, in the past, sometimes looked at the number of homeless people, for example, yes. And if you actually count up all the bedrooms, we've got in houses that are not used, there's more than enough rooms for nobody to be out on the street, you know, under a blanket. But, you know, it's just the distribution of resources and ownership means that, you know, we do have these issues where we do have homelessness, or we do have people not being able to access, you know, reasonable things. And that's a huge economic argument that I don't know how to solve that one.

Nick Gonios: 29:47

I want to get your final thoughts on sort of just some of the things you're excited, you know, based on your years of experience, you know, what's inside in you after sort of evolving to where you're at right now and what's coming like what are the what are the big thematics that you're You know, attracted to unlikely to and want to get deeper into from a research perspective or trying to drive some change in market that we know some of our listeners and viewers would love to hear about. And I'd love to get your just your final thoughts on the sector in space based on your views and experiences.

Sara Wilkinson: 30:16

I think the things that I really like at the moment is the emerging area of biotech and high tech, biotechnology, using more plants and green infrastructure. I'm doing a project with a marine biologist on algae building technology, which is using algae to grow biomass on buildings to produce biofuel for energy. And the high tech. One of the areas I've worked in with green was one of the barriers to the adoption of green walls is the ongoing maintenance costs and neo h&s issues of people working on high rise buildings from window cleaning cradles. So we're working on a wall bot with cheese and a smart green wall, which is something that can be operated from a computer. And you have a bot that inspects the walls, monitors the client health and is also able to do maintenance of the green walls. So hopefully, we get more green walls into cities and attenuate urban heat island. Yes, mega cities sort of livable, possibly even grow food.

Nick Gonios: 31:37

Yeah, yeah, big sorry. I mean, I think that's a it's I think it's a real possibility. It's, it's, there's so many amazing companies coming through that are really pushing hard on sort of vertical farming and sort of urban farming in sort of environments, like cities and so forth, that that is becoming much more real, which I'm so happy with. It's an area that I'm interested in quite a bit to the reinvention of food systems, so to speak, when you you know, you hear statistics of you know, foods being produced and for the, you know, for bananas shipped from Northern Queensland to come to our, you know, supermarkets here on the East Coast, 40% of them basically, rotting by the time they get to our stores, really, I mean, it's why it should not happen, you know, it does not make any sense, and we're paying for these things. Okay, so look, I'm constant time. And it's been such a great conversation, if you got any final words, just on onset of the future of sustainable buildings at high level, and just, you know, where to from here, in your view, you know, you're working on some interesting research projects soon as well. I think so.

Sara Wilkinson: 32:34

Yeah I mean, I just think umm as the Redskins, which not the football team, this was a punk band in the UK, they had a great record cuts called keep on keeping on. You know, I think is, you know, keep an open mind and don't dismiss things give things some thought be sometimes prepared to take a chance on something that seems really left field and have a go.

Nick Gonios: 33:06

Sounds good. Sara, that's been so amazing. Look, I just wanted to thank you for joining us on the circus quest. I truly enjoyed our conversation and how we went about unpacking sort of the high level views of sustainable buildings and a bit of the circular economy in the built world it's such a you know, it's the largest sort of sector in the world and it's slow moving and it's trying to change but it's you know, there's a lot of inertia in it which you know, we could spend all day talking about but but look for those interested do want to speak and find out more about Professor Sara Wilkinson and are keen to discuss, you know, sustainability and sustainable buildings and the built world with her, you can check out a profile page on the University of Technology Sydney's website. And you know, on that note, at The Circulist Quest, we're always interested in stories about entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, and scientists who are helping to accelerate the shift to the circular economy. If you now have someone we just have to talk to, or have any questions about the technology we're developing to help product manufacturers close the loop, visit our website at or write to us at

Stay up to date on all things Circulist.