Sustainability - its not just a hippy concept...
What is sustainability?
Sustainability is not just 'being green' or an 'eco-warrior'. Environmental sustainability is just one of the strands of the 'sustainability umbrella'.
The Brundtland Commission defines sustainability as 'meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, 1987 (it's not a new concept!)
We want our projects to work well for their inhabitants as well as the world around them. To us, sustainability means durable buildings with locally sourced low impact materials, low energy bills, and enjoyable spaces that improve quality of life and don't cost the earth.
Generally acknowledged in the business world is the term Triple Bottom Line relating to sustainability, which is used to measure performance in a wider perspective to cover the three P’s that represent this value system: Planet, People and Profit.
47% of all UK CO2 emissions are linked to the construction and operation of the built environment - 27% from housing, 18% from non-domestic buildings and 2% from the construction process itself (and this doesn't even consider embodied carbon within the materials)
The World Green Building Council estimates that globally, up to 30% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are generated by the built environment
There are more than 26.7 million homes in the UK with the rate of new build compared to the level of existing building stock at just 1% per year
85% of existing housing in the UK will still be in use by 2050
Check out the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) infographics on The State of Sustainability in the UK Built Environment for more comprehensive data.