96% Recycled: Showcasing sustainability in construction

Cordia Blackswan, 6 September 2021

With the global population constantly expanding, our space is becoming more restricted, and more resources are being used. Green initiatives have therefore become vital in sustaining our planet.

Property developers must be proactive in developing a green agenda to ensure their construction methods are not damaging the environment. At the top of this agenda is reducing carbon footprint and protecting natural resources. As we have become more focused on the future impacts of our urban environments, the life cycles of developments must be considered.

A large part of this is ensuring that the amount of embodied carbon in buildings and materials emitted over time is reduced. Currently, the construction sector is responsible for nearly 40% of annual global carbon emissions, but only 28% of this is embodied carbon, so action needs to be taken.

The importance of being green

The World Economic Forum prescribe four key pillars for the future of real estate. One of these major considerations is sustainability, under which it is indicated that spaces should be decarbonised and efficient, taking a life cycle approach to deliver environmental, economic, and social benefits.

With buildings accounting for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, it is clear that action must be accelerated to meet net zero carbon goals, which requires abating the carbon emitted throughout the full asset life cycle. As 51% of the life cycle carbon from a typical residential building is emitted before the building is even opened, it is clear this this is a larger role for developers to play to reduce embodied carbon. 

Organisations can contribute to tackling environmental issues by adopting long-term policies that are sustainable and comprehensive. It is our responsibility as developers to consider these how we go above and beyond government policy when investing in new projects to ensure benefits both for the climate and the economy.

Cordia Blackswan’s environmental conscience

When delivering new properties, we always work with specialists to deliver high-quality buildings, including listed buildings and heritage sites across the city. We work on these projects with the goal of realising the true potential in every neighbourhood by restoring heritage sites and producing sustainable communities.

At The Lamp Works, the team has worked hard to preserve the area’s heritage and protect natural resources. The contemporary rental development, which will deliver 148 apartments, is designed to reflect the architectural heritage of the Jewellery Quarter and is currently under construction.

The industrial heritage of the site will be reflected in the design of the buildings form and the materials used. For example, a steel frame from one of the original buildings will be retained in memory of the original central factory space that was a key site in the Jewellery Quarter landscape.

The Lamp Works – 96% Recycled

At The Lamp Works, 96% of materials have so far been recycles during construction. 100% of 60 tonnes of asbestos has gone to landfill, alongside 70% of 595 tonnes of general waste. 100% of wood, metals and hardcore have been recycled, totalling 2,984 tonnes.

These figures demonstrate our commitment to protecting the environment and building for the future. With 62% of all waste in the UK coming from construction, demolition, and excavation in 2018, we are determined to make sure that as much of the waste as possible is recycled.

Our goals support the actions laid out in Birmingham Waste Strategy, which states that recycling and re-use are to be maximised, and outlines a goal for the city to achieve 70% recycling by 2040.

Apartments at The Lamp Works will be ready for occupation in 2023.

For more information, please visit the Cordia Blackswan website.

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