WUM01 Water Use Modelling

About this course

This course is about using the Water Use Model to model water consumption in buildings to improve water efficiency and sustainability performance.

The Water Use Model (WUM) enables the water consumption of buildings to be modelled. Technical performance of water delivery devices and equipment are combined with use schedules and occupancy rates to indicate water consumption in the building per person and per m2 of the building. This allows performance to evaluated against benchmarks.

The tool also enables different types of water delivery devices and equipment, schedule and occupancy rates to substituted and the implications of this ascertained.

The tool is easy and quick to use and can be used to provide invaluable insight and guidance on how to achieve highly water-efficient buildings.

What this course offers

The course will show you how you can use the WUM to assess existing buildings and proposed designs for buildings. It will also show how different options can be rapidly modelled to achieve an optimum water efficient design.

What you will learn

The course covers the following topics.

1. Why is water important?

Under climate change and drier conditions water is becoming more scarce in many parts of the world. At the same time water is essential for life and a functioning economy. The course provides a context for why is water efficient buildings must be achieved.

2. How do you model water use in buildings?

The Water Use Model is introduced. Water uses in buildings, as indicated in the list below, are introduced to show how these can be understood and modelled.

  • Toilets
  • Urinals
  • Wash hand basins
  • Showers
  • Kitchen use
  • Laundry
  • Irrigation
  • Env control
  • Fire testing
  • Cleaning

3. Applying the Water Use Model to improve water efficiency in buildings?

The course shows how to interpret reports from the WUM to identify opportunities for improved water efficiency. The testing and evaluation of these options are demonstrated to support iterative methodologies which can be applied to achieve optimum designs.

How you will learn

The course is online and you will be able to access the following resources

  • Course presentation
  • Course book
  • Course quiz
  • Templates and guides
  • Course work
  • Additional reading

The course is self-paced and you can work through the material in your own time. Course numbers are capped, so the length of access to courses will be limited to provide access to new participants. However, we aim to provide access for at least 1 month.

Course certificate

A course certificate can be provided should you wish to receive formal confirmation of your successful completion of the course. For this, you must download and apply tools and guides provided and submit coursework. This will be reviewed by the Course Instructor and, where requirements are met, a course certificate will be issued.

What do I need to attend the course?

You will need access to the Internet and a Gmail account with a password to access the course.  

Who developed the course?

The course was developed by Instructors who have designed and run management and technical courses for the United Nations, government departments, universities, professional bodies and community organisations.   

Accessing the course, course books, tools and guides

Access to the course enables you to view the presentations, the course book, tools and guides, the additional reading, the coursework and take the quiz. You can access the online courses through the shop. Online live and tailored courses are also held from time-to-time, if you are interested in these please register here.

Course books, tools and guides can be viewed online during the course. If you would like to download and use these, these can be accessed through the shop.

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How do you develop plans and strategies for more sustainable neighbourhoods?

The Built Environment Sustainability Tool enables the development of sophisticated and responsive plans and strategies to support improved local sustainability. These plans respond to and address gaps and aspects of current poor performance in the neighbourhood while supporting and improving aspects of good performance.

A wide range of options should be evaluated before a final selection of options for implementation is made. The tool should also be used to inform the mix, and sequencing, of interventions. Finally, detailed implementation plans and strategies should be designed and tested back against criteria in the tool to ensure that maximum impact is achieved.

The questions below, in conjunction with BEST, can be used to inform detailed implementation plans and strategies aimed at supporting sustainability.

New infrastructure

  • Is new infrastructure required?
  • Can existing infrastructure be used or adapted?
  • Can management and operation agreements be developed to support multifunction use of and shared access of existing facilities? 

Clustering and partnerships

  • Can clustering and shared use of infrastructure be used to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs?
  • Can partnerships be developed with neighbouring landowners and communities to increase the scale of interventions to support shared benefit and improved cost-effectiveness?

Linkages and synergies

  • How can systems be linked to reduce wastage and improve efficiency?  
  • Are there synergies that can be developed for mutual benefit?

Location and land use

  • Which location(s) for interventions can be used to support symbiotic relationships between functions and land uses?
  • Which location(s) for interventions draw on, and work with, natural and artificial features of the existing site to improve efficiencies and reduce operational costs?

Procurement

  • Which procurement processes are most suitable for creating local jobs and supporting local small businesses?
  • Which procurement processes can be used to reduce risk and improve local self-reliance concerning funding and long-term financial sustainability?

Construction

  • Which construction processes are most suitable for creating local jobs and support local small businesses?
  • Which construction products and materials are most suitable for creating local jobs and support local small businesses?

Operational management

  • Which operational management models ensure affordable local access and use of infrastructure for community benefit?
  • Which operational management models include governance mechanisms which ensure that infrastructure is responsive to local needs and opportunities?

These questions can be used to develop detailed designs, specifications, plans and implementation methods that ensure that the resulting interventions not only support local sustainability but also ensure that implementation processes are also used to support sustainability. The Built Environment Sustainability Tool can be accessed here.

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How do you achieve more sustainable neighbourhoods?

Neighbourhoods appear to be complex and difficult to assess in terms of sustainability performance. A review of green precinct assessment tools for urban areas revealed that these tend to focus on environmental issues and did not take into social and economic issues. Many of the tools are also complex and do not encourage the involvement of communities and non-professionals. Also, many tools and rating systems are prescriptive and do not encourage or support the exploration of innovative solutions that respond to local opportunities and challenges.

The Built Environment Sustainability Tool addresses these issues by being based on a sustainability approach which includes social and economic aspects as well as environmental impacts. The tool aims to be simple to use and to encourage the active participation of all role players including local communities in assessing local sustainability performance and developing plans to improve this. It encourages a range of solutions to be explored and tested to support responsive solutions that work with local opportunities and challenges.  

The BEST methodology provides practical ways of developing more sustainable neighbourhoods that enable you to address the following questions:

  • What is sustainability?
  • What are the implications of sustainability for urban areas and settlements?
  • Do existing and proposed urban areas and settlements have the appropriate configuration and characteristics for sustainability?
  • Can this configuration and characteristics be assessed?
  • Can these assessments inform the development of interventions and solutions to improve sustainability performance? 
  • Are there ways of identifying the most optimum solutions and interventions to address gaps and rapidly improving sustainability performance?
  • Can sustainability plans and strategies be developed to ensure that sustainability targets are achieved in a structured, efficient and effective way?

The BEST can be accessed here.

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BES01 Built Environment Sustainability Tool

About this course

This course is about using the Built Environment Sustainability to assess and improve the sustainability performance of neighbourhoods.

The Built Environment Sustainability Tool supports an integrated and responsive approach to achieving sustainable neighbourhoods. The tool is based on a holistic approach to addressing sustainability and includes social, economic and environmental criteria. It is easy and low-cost to use and is particularly suitable for developing country applications.

What this course offers

The course will show you how you can use the BEST to assess neighbourhoods and propose and test interventions to improve their sustainability performance. It guides users on how to follow a standardised methodology and protocols in order to carry out accurate assessments.

What you will learn

The course covers the following topics.

1. What is sustainability?

In order to address sustainability in buildings, it is important to understand what this means for buildings. The course describes sustainability and shows how it relates to global climate change and sustainable development commitments. It presents a practical working definition of sustainability which enables this to be effectively addressed and integrated into the planning, design, construction, operation and demolition of buildings.

2. How do you measure sustainability performance in neighborhoods?

The Built Environment Sustainability Tool use criteria in the following areas to measure sustainability performance of neighbourhoods.

  • Shelter
  • Mobility
  • Food
  • Goods
  • Services
  • Waste
  • Biocapacity
  • Health
  • Education
  • Employment

Each criteria is introduced and simple protocols provided for the measurement and recording of performance. Detail is also provided on how to interpret results and use this to develop high performance synergistic interventions that can be used to improve the sustainability of the neighbourhood.

3. How do you use the BEST to improve the sustainability performance of neighbourhoods?

The course provides access to the BEST and a manual on how to apply it. The tool and manual provide a valuable framework that can be used to structure how sustainability is addressed in neighbourhoods.

How you will learn

The course is online and you will be able to access the following resources

  • Course presentation
  • Course book
  • Course quiz
  • Templates and guides
  • Course work
  • Additional reading

The course is self-paced and you can work through the material in your own time. Course numbers are capped, so the length of access to courses will be limited to provide access to new participants. However, we aim to provide access for at least 1 month.

Course certificate

A course certificate can be provided should you wish to receive formal confirmation of your successful completion of the course. For this, you must download and apply tools and guides provided and submit coursework. This will be reviewed by the Course Instructor and, where requirements are met, a course certificate will be issued.

What do I need to attend the course?

You will need access to the Internet and a Gmail account with a password to access the course.  

Who developed the course?

The course was developed by Instructors who have designed and run management and technical courses for the United Nations, government departments, universities, professional bodies and community organisations.   

Accessing the course, course books, tools and guides

Access to the course enables you to view the presentations, the course book, tools and guides, the additional reading, the coursework and take the quiz. You can access the online courses through the shop. Live courses are also held from time-to-time, if you are interested in these please register here.

Course books, tools and guides can be viewed online during the course. If you would like to download and use these, these can be accessed through the shop.

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EOM01 Effective Online Meetings

About this course

This course is on how online meetings can be effective. It shows how you can plan, manage and follow up on online meetings to ensure that they achieve their objectives.

We use meetings to share information and discuss and agree on issues. Sometimes meetings online work well and objectives are met. However, other times they do not, and objectives are not achieved.

This course builds online meeting design and management capabilities that avoid some of the traps that result in ineffective meetings to ensure that time spent in meetings is effectively used and productive.

What this course offers

Taking the course will enable you to understand more about online meetings and develop skills,  knowledge and processes that will enable you to become more capable of running effective online meetings.

What you will learn 

The course addresses the following topics.

1. What is an effective online meeting?

This describes different types of meetings in terms of their purpose. It shows how the objectives of meetings need to be understood in order to have an effective meeting. An effective meeting achieves the objectives set for it.

2. How do you plan for effective online meetings?

Once the objectives for the meeting are understood, meetings can be planned to achieve these objectives. Meeting structure and timing can be designed to ensure meeting activities such as the sharing of information, discussion, and agreement, and can be organised in a way that ensures that objectives are achieved.

3.  How do you manage effective online meetings?

Following the agenda of the meeting and achieving the objectives of a meeting requires the meeting to guided by a chairperson. This is a skilled activity that needs to work with participants and respond to dynamics of the meeting to ensure that objectives are met.

4.  How do you follow up on effective online meetings?

Good meetings can be a waste of time if no minutes are taken and shared, as people soon forget what was discussed and agreed. Therefore, following up with participants after meetings is an important way of ensuring that the meeting achieves change beyond the discussions at the meeting.

5. Are there tools and guides you can use for effective online meetings?

Agenda and minute templates and checklists help ensure meetings are effective, as they ensure all of the key issues are addressed and not accidentally omitted. By avoiding ‘reinventing the wheel’ they also save time and allow meeting organisers to be more effective.

How you will learn

The course is online and you will be able to access the following resources

  • Course presentation
  • Course book
  • Course quiz
  • Templates and guides
  • Course work
  • Additional reading

The course is self-paced and you can work through the material in your own time. Course numbers are capped, so the length of access to courses will be limited to provide access to new participants. However, we aim to provide access for at least 1 month.

Course certificate

A course certificate can be provided should you wish to receive formal confirmation of your successful completion of the course. For this, you must download and apply tools and guides provided and submit coursework. This will be reviewed by the Course Instructor and, where requirements are met, a course certificate will be issued.

What do I need to attend the course?

You will need access to the Internet and a Gmail account with a password to access the course.  

Who developed the course?

The course was developed by Instructors who have designed and run management and technical courses for the United Nations, government departments, universities, professional bodies and community organisations.   

Accessing the course, course books, tools and guides

Access to the course enables you to view the presentations, the course book, tools and guides, the additional reading, the coursework and take the quiz. Access to the course here.

Course books, tools and guides can be viewed online during the course. If you would like to download and use these, these can be accessed through the shop.

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Effective Online Meetings

Most of us have experienced meetings that work well. We are all in the same room, the organiser is well prepared, there is a clear agenda and meeting follows this and achieves its objectives. The benefits of these meetings are well known and have been shared in articles such as:

However, as a result of Lockdowns many people now increasingly rely on online meetings using Zoom, Meet, Skype and Team. Guidance is limited and often these type of meetings do not work as well as they could.

To address this Gauge Capability is developing the new EOM01 Effective Online Meetings course. This covers the following topics:   

  • What is an effective online meeting?                                        
  • How do you plan for effective online meetings?
  • How do you manage effective online meetings?
  • How do you follow up on effective online meetings?
  • Are there tools and guides you can use for effective online meetings?

For further information on the course and free previews of the material, please drop us an email and sign up to the Gauge newsletter.

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How do I manage my workplace – during COVID-19?‎

The World Health Organisation and Centre for Communicable Disease have developed good guidelines on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and what to do to avoid spreading it. As Lockdowns end, it is important to draw on these to prepare and manage workplaces for employees who return to work.

The main way the virus is thought to spread is from person-to-person. When an infected person coughs or sneezes respiratory droplets are produced. These airborne droplets can be inhaled by people nearby. This happens when people are close together. Under experimental conditions, the virus has been found to remain viable in the air for three hours.

Infections are also thought to happen when droplets land on surfaces which are then touched by people who infect themselves by touching their mouth and nose. It is thought the virus can survive 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces and up to 1 day on porous surfaces such as cardboard. Given these methods of infection, how can the spread be reduced in and around buildings?

Personal habits

The most effective way of reducing the spread is by changing personal habits.  Washing hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, or if this is not available using an alcohol-based hand rub, kills and removes viruses that may be on your hands. Maintaining a physical distance from other people of at least 1.5 metre also helps reduce the likelihood of inhaling droplets.

Reduce the need to visit buildings

Using the internet and telephones to deliver services reduces the need to visit buildings. Many government and private sector services can be delivered through well-designed interactive websites and free-call telephone services. This reduces the need for people to visit buildings and interact with people in the building or on the way there, reducing the risk of infection.

Travelling to and from buildings

 Walking, cycling, using a motorbike, or lifts and carpools with no more than 2 people can be used to travel to buildings in a way that limits exposure to other people. If public transport has to be used, travelling at non-peak times and maintaining a distance of 1.5m away from the next person can be used to reduce the risk of infection. 

Entrances

Leaving front doors open or having automatic doors reduces the need to touch door handles. Avoiding sign-in books and access control procedures that require surfaces to be touched reduces the need to touch surfaces which may have the virus on them. Making provision for people to wash their hands or use a hand sanitiser near the entrance helps to reduce the risk that people bring the virus into the building. 

Reception and waiting areas

Marking the floor 1.5m away from the receptionist and providing signage can help to ensure that people maintain a safe distance from the receptionist while interacting with them.  Within waiting areas, numbers of people should be limited and arrangements made to ensure that they wait at least 1.5m apart. Over flows should be catered through seating outside or in other space that is also at least 1.5 m apart.

Work and workspaces

Where it is possible and safe, employees should be encouraged to work from home. If this is not possible, spaces, and furniture and equipment layouts should be rearranged to maintain 1.5m between people. As much ventilation as possible should be provided by opening windows and doors. Air conditioners should be set to maximise the circulation of external fresh air and the recirculation of air should be avoided. Good ventilation dilutes the concentrations of airborne droplets and can help reduce infections.

Meetings and meeting spaces

Where possible, physical meetings should be avoided and replaced with teleconferences, Skype, Hangout, Zoom or similar virtual meetings. If physical meetings are necessary, participants should be limited and a space of at least 1.5m between people should be maintained. Walking meetings, where participants discuss issues while maintaining a safe distance apart, is also a possibility. These measures help to reduce infections by reducing physical proximity as well as through the dilution effect of being in the open air. 

Bathrooms

Bathrooms should have soap and working wash-hand basins. Signage should be provided that shows how hands can be washed thoroughly, including indicating this should take at least 20 seconds.  A schedule should be put in place to ensure that surfaces such as door handles, taps, locks and flush handles are cleaned regularly. This helps to ensure hands and surfaces are clean to reduce the risk of infection.

Surfaces

There are many surfaces in buildings like counters, stair rails, light and lift switches and shared equipment such as telephones and keyboards that are touched constantly. These should be cleaned regularly to reduce the risk of these having viruses on them which are passed between people.

Cleaning

Standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to remove or kill the Coronavirus. Therefore, all surfaces that are touched regularly should be cleaned. Household cleaners and disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface can be used. Instructions on the labels should be followed.  Gloves should be worn and there should be good ventilation during cleaning.  Cleaning should be regular and will vary depending on the amount of traffic and use.

These measures will help building users, building owners and facilities managers make their building safer and reduce the risk of built environments causing infections.

Further information can be accessed from here:

World Health Organisation

Centre for Communicable Disease

A copy of a presentation on this article is available here.

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SBA01 Sustainable Building Assessment Tool (SBAT)

About this course

This course is about using the Sustainable Building Assessment Tool to assess and improve the sustainability performance of residential buildings, such as houses and apartments, and their immediate neighbourhoods.

The Sustainable Building Assessment Tool supports an integrated and responsive approach to achieving high sustainability performance in buildings. The tool is based on a holistic approach to addressing sustainability and includes social, economic and environmental criteria. It is easy and low-cost to use and is particularly suitable for developing country applications.

What this course offers

The course will show you how you can use the SBAT to assess designs and buildings to improve their sustainability performance. It also shows you how to follow a standardised methodology and protocols in order to carry out accurate assessments. The course also shows how data can be collated for sustainability reports and to enable self-assessments to be validated.

What you will learn

The course covers the following topics.

1. What is sustainability?

In order to address sustainability in buildings, it is important to understand what this means for buildings. The course describes sustainability and shows how it relates to global climate change and sustainable development commitments. It presents a practical working definition of sustainability which enables this to be effectively addressed and integrated into the planning, design, construction, operation and demolition of buildings.

2. How do you measure environmental sustainability performance in buildings?

The Sustainable Building Assessment Tool measures environmental sustainability performance in buildings using 5 criteria. These are Energy, Water, Waste, Materials and Biocapacity. For each of these, building performance objectives are defined and descriptions of criteria used to measure performance are provided. Standardised measuring and reporting protocols used to capture performance in the SBAT and validation documentation are also described.

 3. How do you measure economic sustainability performance in buildings?

The Sustainable Building Assessment Tool measures environmental sustainability performance in buildings using 5 criteria. These are Transport, Resource Use, Management and Local Economy. For each of these, building performance objectives are defined and descriptions of criteria used to measure performance are provided. Standardised measuring and reporting protocols used to capture performance in the SBAT and validation documentation are also described.

 4. How do you measure social sustainability performance in buildings?

The Sustainable Building Assessment Tool measures social sustainability performance in buildings using 5 criteria. These are Access, Health, Education, Inclusion and Social Cohesion. For each of these, building performance objectives are defined and descriptions of criteria used to measure performance are provided. Standardised measuring and reporting protocols used to capture performance in the SBAT and in validation documentation are also described.

5. Are there tools and guides that can be used to support assessments and project development?

The course provides access to the SBAT Residential tool and a manual on how to apply it. The tool and manual provide a valuable framework that can be used to structure how sustainability is addressed in buildings and designs.

How you will learn

The course is online and you will be able to access the following resources

  • Course presentation
  • Course book
  • Course quiz
  • Templates and guides
  • Course work
  • Additional reading

The course is self-paced and you can work through the material in your own time. Course numbers are capped, so the length of access to courses will be limited to provide access to new participants. However, we aim to provide access for at least 1 month.

Course certificate

A course certificate can be provided should you wish to receive formal confirmation of your successful completion of the course. For this, you must download and apply tools and guides provided and submit coursework. This will be reviewed by the Course Instructor and, where requirements are met, a course certificate will be issued.

What do I need to attend the course?

You will need access to the Internet and a Gmail account with a password to access the course.  

Who developed the course?

The course was developed by Instructors who have designed and run management and technical courses for the United Nations, government departments, universities, professional bodies and community organisations.   

Accessing the course, course books, tools and guides

Access to the course enables you to view the presentations, the course book, tools and guides, the additional reading, the coursework and take the quiz. You can access the online courses through the shop. Live courses are also held from time-to-time, if you are interested in these please register here.

Course books, tools and guides can be viewed online during the course. If you would like to download and use these, these can be accessed through the shop.

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Five principles of effective school finance systems

Many schools do not have effective school finance systems.

This means that Schools Management Teams (SMTs) do not have accurate up-to-date financial information and are therefore not able to manage finances effectively.

It also means that School Governing Bodies (SGBs) are not provided with reports, so cannot monitor school finances and play an oversight role.

The School Finance Tracker (SFT) addresses this by providing a simple tool that can be used by school financial staff to capture income and expenses and provide monthly reports to SMTs and SGBs which enable them to carry out their functions and operate effectively.

The SFT is based on the following five principles.

  1. All school income and expenses are captured and logged against defined codes regularly.
  2. Logged income and expense data is used to generate monthly reports which are used by school management and the governing body to check the financial status of the school.
  3. Annual statements based on monthly statements are prepared to report on the financial status of the school and shared with parents and stakeholders.
  4. Annual budgets based on actual logged income and expense data and projections are prepared.
  5. Effective systems are in place to track actual income and expenditure against budgeted income and expenses and where there are deviations remedial action is taken to maintain the financial sustainability of the school.

The School Finance Tracker tool and a short course on its application are available. Contact us for more information.

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Effective school financial tracking for SMTs and SGBs

In many schools, financial systems do not work well and the following problems are experienced:

  • Schools do not know whether the income they have received to date is above or below what has been budgeted for.
  • Schools do not know whether expenses being incurred are within budget or exceed this.
  • Schools do not know whether there is a problem with parent’s paying fees and there is a downward trend until this is too late.
  • Accurate, up-to-date data in a user-friendly format is not available for School Management Teams (SMTs) and School Governing Bodies (SGBs).
  • A lack of current data means that SMTs cannot effectively manage finances and SGB’s can not provide financial oversight.

The School Finance Tracker (SFT) aims to address this situation by enabling school finance staff to capture income and expenses at the schools to generate reports that provide a clear indication of the school’s financial status.

The SFT generate the following tables and graphs:

  • Actual income against budgeted income
  • Actual expenses against budgeted expenses
  • Actual income, expenditure and margin

These reports can be produced on a monthly basis and shared with the School Management Team and the School Governing Body.

Clear tables and graphs in the SFT report enable school finances to be readily understood and problems picked up early and dealt with.

The SFT is a, therefore, a valuable tool in helping ensure that a school is financially sustainable and makes prudent use of the funding provided to it by parents, government and other parties.

The School Finance Tracker tool and a short course on its application are available. Contact us for more information.

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