From Malcolm Blakey, owner of Finedale Construction
It is vital for the construction industry to take responsibility and be environmentally conscious when designing and building. Together we need to make significant, realistic, and affordable changes for the benefit of the environment which are sustainable for business continuity.
As part of our effort to contour the unscalable environmental challenge of today, we here at Finedale Construction have begun to introduce a number of ‘smaller’ and easily achievable factors into our developments. Upon completion of every residential development, Finedale, designates an appropriate spot within the complex to house a ‘wildlife corner’ that is equipped with an insect hotel, hedgehog houses, bird boxes and a butterfly box.
In addition, Finedale supplies each completed property with a children’s wildlife guide, explaining which animals and insects they may be able to spot within their corner and how each one of them plays their part in the environment. Education is incredibly important in achieving our goals.
In keeping with the insect and animal trend, we actively select planting for the communal and private garden areas to be bio-diverse, this encourages many beneficial factors to include seed disposal, pollination, and natural waste removal.
Furthermore, we feel it is imperative where possible to introduce ‘eco-friendly’ solutions for property buyers’ use, for example, using water butts for garden watering. It is, however, just as important that these solutions are executed in a practical and visually ‘trendy’ format to encourage continued use.
The elements listed above, are aspects which construction partners can provide to buyers, but the question still lies, as to how during the construction and design process itself, we, as developers and construction professionals can play our part. Finedale have provided below a number of factors which we feel are achievable and critical in helping this transition happen.
- At the commencement of a build scheme, we feel it is sensible to look at ways in which natural light can be evenly and well spread, minimising buyers need for as harsh and frequent artificial lighting, this not only reduces living costs but helps with tackling environmental challenges.
- Make use of environmentally friendly materials where possible such as bamboo and recycled plastics.
- Re-use materials where possible and appropriate.
- Where your scheme is financially viable, introduce eco-friendly energy systems. Make use of roof angles for solar panels and loft spaces for low energy clean air solutions.
- Train your staff on the importance of fuel emissions, ensure that machinery and plants are only switched on when operational and when left stood it should be turned off.
- Train staff on the importance of noise pollution, ensure your plant and machinery is well maintained to avoid any unnecessary noise or fuel pollution.
- Be alert with the way in which your waste removal is managed, recycled and separate waste where possible.
Keeping yourself and your team abreast of the new developments and advances in the sector, its products and materials is key to ensuring you as a firm are doing all you can to be environmentally friendly. When you do not know if it is possible, you are not able to achieve it.
It is important to remember, that whilst not all activities carried out throughout the construction process are ‘green’ we, as a sector are aware of the responsibility we hold in making changes as listed above today, to start our journey towards a more environmentally friendly future, tomorrow. As new resources become available, we recognise our current ‘set-up’ and method of completion may need to adjust and change for ongoing support into our countries effort for environmental change.