The world is becoming more urbanised – It is projected that by 2030 more than 60% of the world’s population will live in cities – and this rapid development is leading to inadequate and overburdened infrastructure, worsening pollution, and poorer public health. Urban areas account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and two thirds of energy use. How can we address these issues in the fit out industry? The below are some examples we believe can make a difference:
- Encourage clients to occupy buildings with passive energy strategies, energy efficient plant (or the ability to upgrade to) and access to infrastructure such as district heating networks, combined heat and power, or geothermal sources. Also important for occupation is access to low carbon transportation, access to external or green space, and located within a mixed-use community. Holistic sustainability thinking should form the key criteria of site and building selection.
- Make efforts to protect and safeguard cultural and natural heritage within each locale, and consideration of construction and occupation activities on the wider community.
- Design to mitigate climate change impacts, for example addressing overheating, and disaster and evacuation strategies.
- Consider inclusivity of internal and external spaces and design solutions. Development of User Profiles are the core tool recommended by us to enable design harmonisation with occupants. We develop the contents of each for project specific needs as well as retain the core form that ensures designs will reflect human needs and drivers.
- Use of our ‘a better place’ methodology to provide clarity on how to harmonise the occupied spaces with employee needs, support wellbeing and enable highest productivity and value returns.
- Undertake an RICS SKArating assessment as a supporting framework for sustainability initiatives within the design, construction and occupation of commercial fit-out projects.
- Use Circular Economy thinking. Engaging with the supply chain. Challenge the routine solutions. Consider the cradle to grave journey for not only the products used in a single fit out, but in the
- Measurement of carbon emissions and net zero commitments. We have begun analysing the embodied carbon of products, construction elements and across construction activities. We are analyzing our carbon emissions as a business to identify areas where we can reduce our impact. With the push towards companies reaching net-zero emissions, real estate development and property operations will form an integral part of eliminating and reducing emissions.
This is the last in our mini series of blogs exploring our Top 5 SDG’s. Not seen the others? You can find the overview and the 4 blogs exploring each issue in more detail here.
Happy reading and if you would like to talk to us about how we can help you with any of these issues, just contact us.