With the end of lockdown now in sight, given the recently released UK roadmap to an ‘irreversible’ easing of restrictions, a clear demand for green buildings is increasingly evident in the UK property market.
Prolonged time spent in homes has left both tenants and homeowners acutely attuned to household bills with energy efficiency a key selling point for sales and lettings. Moreover, environmental concerns, accentuated by a markedly increased appreciation of green space after several lockdowns, are shifting the landscape and expectations in the property sector. A sustainable approach not only meliorates these demand dynamics, but aligns with long term macroeconomic trends, including legislation with the future homes standard, environment bill, and net-zero carbon footprint.
Developers are increasingly incorporating sustainability in construction and the project life cycle while stakeholder community engagement is set to reap significant benefits as Britain builds back greener in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK Net Carbon Zero Ten Point Plan, for instance, published in November 2020, requires new developments to include suitable walking and cycling routes, electric car charging points as well as low carbon heating systems.
Further, the future home's standard requires an up to 80 per cent reduction in emissions in new build homes by 2025, with a ban on gas boilers. The principle of biodiversity net gain as a legal requirement on sites is due to become law this year. As such, the sustainability agenda has come to the fore in the UK property market with heightened pressure from both private and public investors to address climate, wellness and efficiency-related issues.
Strawberry Star continues its long lineage of strategic partnerships to deliver excellent quality housing whilst using some of the best sustainability practices in the sector. The most recently announced partnership with renowned contractor JJ Rhatigan is due to build 2,000 new homes by 2025; advancing the use of sustainable architecture and construction methods to reduce material waste, disruption to the building site and surrounding community, as well as reducing operational energy.
At the industry level, developers are incorporating modular and prefabricated homes, which have reduced turn-around time and environmental impact whilst maintaining exceptional quality. Strawberry Star too is focusing on an environment-friendly approach. For instance, components of modular construction have been included in Lu2on, a multiple award-winning mixed-use development in Luton.
According to a survey undertaken by the British Property Federation over 70% of respondents said that the delivery of sustainability initiatives continues to be ‘business as usual’ and in some cases activity has increased over the last five months. Furthermore, over 35% of the respondents said that they plan to accelerate activity and investment in sustainability as we emerge out of the pandemic, reports JLL.