Creative building solutions
COLLABORATING WITH OUR PARTNERS TO IDENTIFY INNOVATIVE BUILDING TECHNIQUES AND DELIVER THE HOMES OF THE FUTURE
We have a strong track record of undertaking complex schemes in challenging locations by using innovative design, procurement and building solutions in partnership with our supply chain.
During the reporting period, we have witnessed some major listed contractors and smaller subcontractors fall into administration, against a backdrop of commentators reflecting on the sector’s relative lack of investment in innovation and the barriers to collaboration. Despite this we are investing heavily in innovation, our people and supply chain. Indeed, we’ve invested around 18 per cent (2018: 13 per cent) of spend in various forms of innovation, primarily Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).
We have always taken a long-term approach to supply chain collaboration to de-risk projects and keep people safe and healthy, whilst being commercially astute.
We believe it is important to undertake an incremental approach to advancing beyond national policy and building regulations, whilst ensuring our customer recommendation rate is amongst the highest in the sector.
Our Group Managing Director participated in the Hackitt Review, and members of our senior management team participate in a range of industry committees, expert panels and working groups to ensure we are aware of, and are preparing for, the emerging policy, regulatory, code and standards changes.
Our Innovation Forum has reviewed 176 ideas from across the business and focused working parties continue to appraise a range of design, technical and procurement processes. These include MMC and Building Information Modelling (BIM) of which some 82 per cent (2018: 93 per cent) of our consultants have Level 2 experience.
As a result, we have maintained our performance compared with the previous reporting period, whilst broadening our knowledge in readiness for future policy and regulatory change. In summary:
- All our homes achieved an average Environmental Performance Certificate (EPC) B rating;
- 100 per cent (target 50 per cent) of our new build schemes benefit from low carbon or renewable technologies;
- Our residential schemes either achieved or are planning to achieve a targeted 40 per cent CO2 emissions improvement compared to 2010 Building Regulations in all new homes;
- Our mixed-use schemes either achieved or are planning to achieve a targeted 40 per cent CO2 emissions saving. These projects also achieve a minimum BREEAM Very Good rating.
On every project we undertake Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) on the performance of our Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants, to see how we can optimise future systems to reduce capital expenditure and improve operational costs.
This will assist us in preparing for emerging policies in the new London Plan, improve air quality, reduce emissions and to bridge the performance gap in buildings. Whilst such technical analysis and our voluntary use of Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Technical Guidance TM59 will help inform building performance. We aim to continue to collaborate with informed stakeholders and policy makers in the drafting of new Supplementary Planning Guidance.
It is difficult to compensate for non-typical personal behaviours that may skew POE outputs. Accordingly, we will collaborate with the GLA and peers to help inform this debate, to ensure best practice on-site and minimise the carbon and other emerging levies.
We are collaborating with peers, policy makers and with membership organisations including:
- HBF – on their National Technical and Sustainability Committee, the Tall Building and Waste Groups and the Future Homes Standard Group;
- NHBC – on their Construction Quality and Expert Panels, and the Standards Committee;
- London First – on campaigns to make London the best city in the world to do business;
- Future of London – participating in knowledge networks;
- SCSS – on their Homes, Horizons and Offsite Groups;
- Tree Design Advisory Group – helping promote the role of the urban forests;
- UK-GBC – to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment.
We were delighted to be recognised as a ‘Collaborative Working Partnership’ winner at the national CIBSE Awards, along with our subcontractor Woodford Heating.
By working with such informed partners as LWARB and the UK-GBC CE Partnership in future years we will improve the operational efficiency of our business. As we integrate CE practices into our business we believe home owners and build to rent partners will be able to employ these principles to extend the life of buildings and reuse and recycle their components, without recourse to landfill at the end of life.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Meeting the objectives of the new London Plan
To protect our licence to operate we will continue to collaborate with policy makers and our supply chain to meet the objectives of the new London Plan whilst improving our customer’s health and wellbeing.
THE LIBERTY BUILDING
The Liberty Building celebrates London docklands historic industrial heritage, whilst using modern methods of construction and creating homes fit for the 21st century.
Unusually for the area, a new south facing landscaped public space provides the setting for 155 mixed-tenure homes, opposite to Crossharbour DLR station. The architectural form that makes up the scheme respects the local townscape.