NEWS Sustainability

Taking a holistic approach

COVID-19 has shown us just how important our built environment is, in terms of enabling, supporting and indeed safeguarding our lives.

As we look to the future, we hope that it will make us more considered in the environments we create, and more holistic in the way we design and operate buildings.

The current situation has proved how connected everything is. As we eventually return to some semblance of normal life, it is imperative that the built environment industry adopts a more progressive approach.

We need to truly harness all the components that make up our environments, integrating and enhancing them to ensure the best quality of life. Whether it is health, wellbeing, acoustics, movement, technology or climate change mitigation, they must all play a part, together.

Our industry has historically been slow to adopt new approaches and ways of working but we’ve just witnessed a veritable masterclass in what can be achieved. The Nightingale Hospital was created in just 9 days, an example of the best of our industry and what we can do when we all pull together.

And where we need to see collaboration, more than ever, is if we are to meet the Government’s objectives for Net Zero Carbon by 2050. Hilson Moran are already leaders in this field, having contributed to the recent City Hall planning guidance on Whole Life-Cycle Carbon Assessments.

Despite our carbon expertise there remain real challenges throughout the industry, particularly in encouraging the whole supply chain to adopt a circular economy approach. Financial appraisals need to adopt a more rounded approach, considering whole life carbon impacts in conjunction with capital and operational cost analysis. Pursuing the Low Carbon agenda will no doubt require the consideration of alternative options and supplementary low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies. This is why we need to go further and with greater pace towards developing solutions for our operational building contracts.

We’re committed to providing as broad a range of services as possible. That is why we’ve been looking at further ways to provide bespoke support to our clients throughout the life cycle of their projects.

The innovative Life Cycle Plan that we have implemented on our projects has the ability to be enhanced to flag the possibility of using more sustainable options for plant, equipment and systems. Working with our environmental colleagues and other specialists we continue to develop tools that enable us to provide scalable, workable solutions to cover all ends of the market.

Despite the challenging circumstances we must continue to be bold and to innovate quicker. If the virus has taught us anything it’s the need for a joined-up view on the way we operate. We can’t predict what the future holds but we can lay the foundations for a more sustainable, resilient and successful way of operating.

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