Sustainability expert dies aged 38
Mel Starrs, a respected expert on sustainability and the built environment, has died aged 38.
Ms Starrs passed away on 14 July in the home she shared with partner Mark Fretwell. She was an associate director at architect firm PRP but best known for her blog Elemental and independent writing on sustainability.
In a message on her website, Mr Fretwell said: ‘It will be some time before we understand the exact cause, however all the indications are that it was extremely quick and that she would not have suffered. We can at least take a little comfort in that.’
An outpouring of tributes to Ms Starrs and condolences began to flood Twitter, as soon as the announcement of her death was made.
Mr Fretwell said: ‘She built an incredible army of followers on Twitter, where I know she will be missed by a great many. I know she had a real bond with so many people she’d never met in person, and used to love it when they came up and introduced themselves at events.’
A Storify called ‘What we loved about Mel Starrs 6-9-1973 to 14-7-2012’ has been set up to collect together some of these tweets and blog posts, as well as links to a video of her most recent public appearance, which was a keynote speech on corporate social responsibility in the construction sector.
Her funeral will take place in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland, which was Ms Starrs’ hometown, tomorrow. Two events are also planned in London and Leeds to celebrate her life. Ms Starrs’ family have asked for donations to be made to her favourite charity, which was Cancer Research.