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Sustainable Design in the Construction Sector

Sustainable Design in the Construction Sector
12 April 2022 | Updated 13 April 2022

100 senior executives of UK construction firms were interviewed on sustainable design and engineering.

The construction firms involved have collectively been involved in over £26.6 billion worth of construction projects over the past year.

The research highlights the growing importance of using sustainable design and engineering in developments to lower carbon footprint and water use, reduce waste and minimise the materials used. 


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The research shows that over three quarters (77  per cent) think that sustainability planning in the early-stage design, engineering and construction is important in current and planned projects - of these, 19  per cent described it as “extremely important.”

Furthermore, over half (53 per cent) and 58 per cent expect sustainable design to become more even more important over the next 12 months and three years respectively.


47% Said Reducing Water and Sewerage Waste is a Priority


When asked about the importance of different areas of sustainable design, over half 51 per cent said that energy-efficient systems and design utilising natural light, smart windows, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) was very important. 

This was followed by 47 per cent who said that reducing water and sewerage waste was also a priority, and 35 per cent said that sourcing materials with lower embodied carbon such as timber, clay and stone was very important.


Lean Design in Construction


Looking ahead, the focus on minimising the impact of developments in terms of carbon footprint, waste and resources used continues.  53 per cent said that the importance of energy-efficient design will increase significantly over the next three years, 32 per cent said that waste reduction and lean design (26 per cent,) which minimises the use of materials, will also increase significantly.

David Pickering, Director, Patrick Parsons, commented: “Our research highlights the growing focus on sustainable design and engineering as the UK construction industry seeks to play its part in tackling climate change by reducing carbon footprint and the use of natural resources and materials in developments. 

“Our project experience reflects the industry’s aspiration to achieve integrated, holistic and sustainable design and that this requires a radical re-think of the design process. We are working with clients, consultants and contractors together to achieve this goal. From project mobilisation, our engineers test their designs against low carbon benchmarks, input to whole life carbon reporting and work with the overall team to ensure a cost-effective and sustainable design.”

To read the report in full, click here.

Picture: a photograph of a person using a tablet, working on a construction site. The person is wearing a hard hat and high-visibility jacket. Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 12 April 2022


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