The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased’. Regional government legislation is vital for both meeting the targets and generating changes in the construction industry worldwide to deliver viable sustainable development which contributes to protecting and enhancing the environment. In 1987 the UN concluded that ‘achieving a balance between environment, society and the economy is essential to;

"meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs"

Gro Bundtland
The built environment has a direct impact on the natural environment, the economy and human health and wellbeing. We can activity improve buildings by achieving comfort through passive design strategies and promoting a holistic approach to environmental design using a strategy with the explicit aim of grounding the three pillars of sustainable design and the impact of their intended outcomes;

Social quality of life, accessibility, community benefits and connectivity

Environmental passive design, CO2 reduction and protection of natural resources

Economic viability and whole life value

The design strategy should always incorporate the three pillars that support a project eco-system for design that assists regeneration and renewal within project and enhances the quality of life of all users, while also promoting social inclusion.The National Planning Policy framework states;

'Sustainable development should be seen as a golden thread running through both plan making and decision taking. Local planning authorities should plan positively for new development, and approve all individual proposals wherever possible’

The resulting design should be developed in accordance with polices that are identified as specific to the project to demonstrate performance and compliance with national planning policy framework. Designing for building performance as a precursor to compliance identifies where Building Regulations will ensure social, environmental and economic performance is both monitored and achieved throughout the RIBA Plan of Works.

Building Information Management (BIM) allows us to blend factual and valuable information that evolves with design with its context and interconnectivity making it meaningful and valuable as more linked project data becomes available through more insightful reporting on;

Statement of Needs

Design and Access Statement that includes site analysis, principles of construction, site waste management plan, in-use waste management plan

Character assessment toolkit that includes buildings, external space, views, landscaping, light/dark and noise/smell

Landscape, ecology and SUD strategy

Water conservation strategy

Flood risk report

Archaeology, history and geology report

Contamination and soil conditions report

Drainage and infrastructure strategy

Arboricultural tree report

Biodiversity report

Transport and travel plan report

Natural resources impact report that includes the energy strategy, passive design analysis, ventilation strategy, materials resource principles, waste management strategy and water conservation analysis

MEP services and energy strategy

The RCZM project eco-system helps bring together holistic development principles to ensure all elements of sustainable development are identified and considered through out the delivery and occupancy process in delivering information that receives BREEAM credits for Man, Hea, Ene, Wat, Mat, Wst and Pol.

In summary
The Kyoto Protocol for climate adopted in 2005 commits all parties to CO2 reduction. 10 years on the Paris Accord of 2015 reinforced the Kyoto protocol and limits global temperatures to less than 1.5oC. The 2014 IPCC AR5 concluded that 'warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia'.

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