We act as sustainability coordinators within our client’s design team from early design through to final completion. As part of this role we; facilitate project team sustainability discussion, help set project-specific sustainability targets, monitor performance, draft the procurement “sustainability requirements” for contractor tenders and interviews. During the construction phase we; review performance against targets, liaise with the contractors on performance, and conduct site visits.
On behalf of our clients we evaluate how projects can best meet the specific aims of local, regional and national planning policy through assessment of the specific design features. Simultaneously, we ensure that social, environmental and economic factors are considered and balanced throughout the design evolution of a project. We also ensure that climate change adaptation measures are assessed and promoted in order to ensure a sustainable, future-proofed development that can respond and adapt to changing climatic conditions.
Circular Economy Strategies and Communication
Greengage devise bespoke strategies which address circular economy principles and help develop specific initiatives which are most relevant to a given project or operation of an organisation. Because the opportunities and challenges may be different in each situation, we use our experience of working with project teams to communicate what the outcomes should be and how different parties are responsible for their implementation. Key to the success of moving from the traditional linear nature of development to a circular approach is the collaboration between previously disparate groups such as demolition contractors and architects, or engaging project planners in adopting new construction practices. We can foster this approach and both set the agenda as well as guide on the detail for implementation.
As well as the broad strategy, we have experts who are able to carry out detailed materials reviews on behalf of project architects or engineers, assessing the different properties and advising on solutions which support key indicators of circularity such as recycled content, resource depletion or design life.
Circular Economy Statements
As part of developing circular economy strategies, Greengage can produce circular economy statements for planning applications. The process of producing these statements involves undertaking a policy review and review of the overarching circular economy aspirations of the client. Greengage then can provide strategic approaches for the statement for achieving circularity and set out a number of commitments which covering the three overarching themes. This involves setting targets and measures, and understanding the challenges involved with achieving targets. This could include setting a target of the volume of waste sent to landfill, the sustainable sourcing of materials and the re-use of materials.
The Emerging London Plan has set out the requirement for referred developments to produce Circular Economy Statements to demonstrate performance. The strategies that we develop are designed to align with the key components of Circular Economy Statements, which include the three overarching areas:
- Conserving resources, increasing efficiency and sourcing ethically
- Designing to eliminate waste (for ease of maintenance)
- Managing waste sustainably and at the highest value.
Waste Management Plans
Many local authorities still require developers to prepare Site Waste Management Plans prior to construction. Greengage support the view that the earlier this is done, the greater the opportunities there are for reducing waste and improving resource efficiency through design.
SWMPs commit to manage waste in accordance with best practice guidance. This includes the consideration of designing out waste, reducing waste generated on site, reuse and recycling procedures and use of available third party data sources including Defra and the BRE.
The adoption of the waste hierarchy and implementation of the principles of circular economy will assist in both minimising generation of site waste and ensuring it is managed appropriately. Specific waste targets are determined as the project design and construction process is progressed however the our SWMPs provide guidance and a framework to cover the following key issues:
- A target benchmark for resource efficiency per unit floor area
- Procedures and commitment to minimise generation of non-hazardous waste
- Procedure to minimise hazardous waste
- Waste minimisation targets and details of waste minimisation actions to be undertaken
- Procedures to estimate, monitor, measure and report on total site waste generation
- A commitment to monthly reporting of waste in comparison to anticipated data including process to review the information and feedback into the waste management site practice.
Whole Life Carbon Studies
Greengage can undertake whole life carbon studies for developments and provide calculations of carbon emissions that are attributable to the materials as well as the construction stage of a development (embodied emissions), along with operational and end of life emissions. Utilising the latest modelling techniques, we are able to accurately predict the emissions that a building will produce over its entire lifetime and suggest strategies for reduction. This is inherently linked to the principles of a circular economy, as emissions reduction will often result from using less materials, alternative materials and increasing the reuse and recycling of materials already within the system.
BREEAM Sustainability Service
As part of our sustainability service, we assess new and refurbished buildings using the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). We review the environmental and sustainability features of schemes from the pre-certification and design stage through planning to the post-construction stage. Maintaining a pragmatic and commercial stance allows us to add value whilst demonstrating targeted performance. A key element of our approach is the ability to maximise project performance in the Energy, and Land Use & Ecology credits.
Our in-house BREEAM Accredited Professionals (AP) engage and provide client teams with advice on sustainability, environmental design and assessment. As BREEAM APs, we facilitate the team’s efforts to: successfully schedule activities; set priorities and; negotiate the trade-offs required to achieve a target BREEAM rating when the design is formally assessed.
CSH/EcoHomes/BREEAM Refurbishment for Domestic Buildings
We help clients and design teams to integrate sustainability features of new build, extension, refurbishment and change-of-use residential developments. We can inform and assess the environmental performance from the pre-certification and design stage through planning to the post construction stage in order to meet planning policy requirements and help ensure a more operationally sustainable building.