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Visit the workplace of the future

Published: 21st October 2008

MMU is the place to be later this month for a glimpse of how the workplace of the future will look.

The university is organizing a Zero Carbon Office exhibition – October 28-31 - which will aim to show exactly what such an office could look like.

MMU Environmental Sustainability Manager John Hindley says the show will profile emerging and cutting-edge technologies which can be applied to both new and existing buildings.

"It's all about getting people thinking about the future," says Hindley.

New business school

"By 2018 the government has said it wants all new public buildings to be zero-carbon. At MMU we are already doing this, notably with plans for our ultra-low carbon business school."

The exhibition will feature a mock office containing various products which can help companies drastically reduce their carbon emission footprint. For instance, helioscopic lighting which eradicates the need for usual sources of office lighting.

Helioscopic works by beaming sunlight into the middle of the roof of a building by means of a series of lenses which track the movements of the sun. The light is then beamed down through fibre-optic cables into the office.

Among IT highlights at the event is a workstation system which eradicates the need for dozens of different desktop terminals which pour out terrific heat.

Carbon debate

Alongside the exhibition there will also be guest speakers, seminars and presentations exploring in depth the social and economic issues around the whole zero carbon debate.

The exhibition will also highlight the importance of behavioural change in reducing
carbon emissions.

"It’s amazing how differently people behave in the office compared to how they behave at home," says MMU Carbon Reduction Manager Sam Pickles. "For instance how many times do you see a hot tap running or a computer left on in the office? You just wouldn’t do that at home.

"The very fact that we at MMU have our own team looking into how these issues can be applied to our own buildings shows how serious we take the issue ourselves."

Business guests

The exhibition will be opened by Michael Whitehurst, of design partnership BDP, which has just opened an ultra-low carbon office in Piccadilly Basin and also features industrialists from Arup, Faber Maunsell, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Brother UK, Limitless UK and from green groups and universities.

For the full programme, go to