Sustainability within the development sector

2021 was a year like no other. Not only have the property and development industries been hit by a pandemic but almost every other industry under the sun has suffered on a global scale.

We were forced to slow down, rethink and refine our approach to the way in which our industry can survive and grow. Developing resilience and adapting quickly is essential to growth, with or without a pandemic.

With an increased focus on sustainability, there is fresh hope for delivering developments that not only meet current needs but are future-proofed for the next generation (and beyond).

An example of post-covid development change was discussed in our recent post Care homes after COVID-19.   

Electric vehicles 

Over the years we have seen a rise in the use of electric cars. Alongside their growth, we have witnessed design and urban development slowly becoming shaped by electric vehicle ownership and subsequent storage.

As the needs of homeowners have changed, and we look to accommodate extra living space, vehicles have slowly been moving back to the roads. What does this mean for the impending shift from fuel-driven vehicles to those that require electric charging points to get you from A to B?

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is set to announce that all new homes and buildings in England will be required to install electric vehicle charging points from 2022.

The laws will also affect new-build offices, supermarkets and buildings with ‘major renovations’ taking place.

The law changes are in an effort to ‘adapt our economy to the green industrial revolution’ as we approach the 2030 deadline which the UK government has set out a target to ban new petrol and diesel car sales

However, issues have already been highlighted stating that there is a monstrous geographical divide, with London and the South East currently hosting more car charging points than the rest of England and Wales combined.

Criticism has also risen around the affordability of electric vehicles for middle-class families, in addition to the lack of signatures on the COP 26 summit pledge for zero-emissions cars and vans by 2035, by four of the world’s biggest carmakers.

Some of the biggest concerns surround the overall lack of infrastructure for such changes and the looming question ‘do we have grids that will support this level of electricity consumption?’ remains unanswered.

What do you think about the sustainability of electric vehicles? Tweet us @LDEProperty 


Embodied energy

Life cycles of properties are a hugely important part of environmental sustainability assessments.

The embodied energy of a building covers the life cycle of the property, from the energy used in the manufacturing of materials, transportation, construction and maintenance to the eventual removal/disposal or recycling of materials and restoration of the site at the end of its life.

Brighton was the UK’s first ‘one planet’ city, requiring developers to submit carbon plans with their planning permission applications. The sustainability of our developments in the UK could be drastically improved if all authorities enforced measures of sustainability in future development plan submissions.

Read more about the five most popular eco-housing concepts in 2020

Sustainability is a wide-stretching issue in many parts of the UK, not just in the property and development sector. By implementing changes there is a chance to increase the quality of the products we are manufacturing and lessen the environmental impact they make.

 What is your take on sustainability in the development industry and how would you feel about the introduction of a carbon plan report to all major developments? Let us know on Twitter @LDEProperty