Property development is a lucrative venture, but it has many external restrictions to consider. One pressing consideration is the potential environmental impact of a development project. This is a hot topic, so to speak, and is gaining global attention. Recent bill changes have forced the issue to the forefront of the planning stages in property projects. This article explores the reasons why.
Why do Property Developers need to Pay Attention to the Environmental Impact of their Project?
So, why should property management company developers be mindful of the environment? Well, the answer to this question is somewhat open-ended. Everyone should be mindful of the environmental damage of their daily activities, but certain people have more responsibility than others and property developers are just one branch of that tree. Property developers have the opportunity to bring their investments up to a green standard and in fact have to follow certain rules while completing any building work.
Infrastructure accounts for a significant amount of environmental detrimental factors such as pollution and destruction of nature and wildlife. So, the responsibility is heavy, and it falls on property developers to rise to the occasion. Almost 20% of all greenhouse gases come from buildings and nearly half of the use of raw materials falls on these developments as well. While the need for housing increases rapidly, these projects must also consider protecting nature in order to sustain the planet instead of operating at the expense of our natural resources and biodiversity.
How to Minimise the Negative Environmental Impact?
That being said, it isn’t always intuitive as to how you can positively impact the environment as opposed to negatively so as a property developer. The points below should be a good starting guide to take action from.
Ensure a Biodiversity Net Gain
Biodiversity net gain is a recent requirement on any and all larger scale development projects. So, what does this mean for developers? In simple terms, whatever is being built must respect the environment. This is not just throughout the development process but more focussed on the end result, in that what is left when the project completes must carefully factor in nature and local wildlife. The biodiversity net gain plan must account for at least a ten percent increase in biodiversity, if not more, than when the project started. Should it fail to do so, then it will fail under the jurisdiction of the Environment Bill.
With that in mind, in order to successfully pass the planning side of things, you will have to show reasonable considerations to this legislation. This is where the help of experts such as Arbtech becomes an invaluable asset. Arbtech provide professional consultancy services with regard to biodiversity considerations in the line of building developments. They provide an all-round assessment of local needs and restrictions and a finite line to move your project forward with.
Use Sustainable Materials
In the planning process, you can research sustainable building materials to replace traditional ones that may leave a bigger carbon footprint. Concrete alone accounts for almost 10% of all CO2 emissions, though it remains of the most commonly used materials to build with. This figure is worldwide, so if there is an option to move away from concrete on a global scale, it can only be for the greater good. But concrete is just one symptom of a larger virus; there is also plastic, asphalt, and steel to consider.
Thankfully, as the environmental movement gains traction, the industry is seeking more sustainable materials with which to build and develop. These are things such as recycled steel and recycled plastic but also more natural, replenishable things like wood and bamboo. Though they might not hold the same strength and fortitude as cement, they certainly look more attractive when you consider their lessened detrimental impact on our natural world.
Insulate Your Build
Something that any developer can do is insulate their investments. Insulation means that a building can retain natural heat much better and can be more temperate in general. The biggest drain on heating comes in the colder seasons and poorly insulated infrastructures. Money can be saved, and energy can be spared with the correct insulation considerations in place.
Go Green with Your Energy Choices
Moving away from fossil fuels is one of the biggest challenges in the current climate. Green energy is not universally accessible and there can often be barriers in accessing it. However, there are ways to move forward with more sustainable energy choices and some fairly impressive options to pick from.
Solar energy uses the sun’s UV rays to power buildings with regard to things like lights and appliances. Solar panels are installed onto the roof in order to absorb the UV element and this is then translated into an energy source. These panels are constantly absorbing potential energy and can be a tangible long-term solution for developers looking for something significantly more environmentally friendly.
Biomass fuel comes from plants, wood, and household waste. This process then converts the subject into energy which in turn is harnessed for energy purposes. In terms of sustainability, it is a credible alternative to more traditional electricity and heating oils. Installation is fairly straightforward, as long as you have the space for the boiler and the fuel to burn. Even with the slight carbon dioxide emissions, biomass is still a better option than fossil fuel energy.
Wind turbines use the natural wind and convert this into renewable energy which in turn provides power. It does require space and maintenance that is not accessible to everyone, and thus the only major barrier in pursuing this option as the norm. However, if you do have the land and the time then wind energy can be harnessed all year round and is no short supply.
With hydropower, water is used to create energy which then converts into power. If you are building near a substantial water source, then hydro energy might be a good option to explore.
Arguably, given the current statistics on development contributions towards negative environmental impact, developers have one of the biggest shared responsibilities globally to ensure that their projects take heed of their carbon footprint.