With record temperatures this year, soaring energy prices and inflation at a 40-year high, it’s no surprise what’s dominating thinking within the construction industry at the moment. Box Architects CEO Graham Place takes a closer look.
“Climate change and environmental challenges are more than just topical headlines, they’re also important day-to-day concerns for Box Architects and critical factors as we plan for the future.
I was at MIPIM earlier this year, and the climate emergency was, as expected, a huge subject. It was pointed out that buildings currently account for 40 per cent of carbon emissions in the UK and 60 per cent of all waste. As a result (and to stop adding to the huge retrofit challenge) the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has given the construction industry just ten years to make all new buildings zero carbon.
I also took part in a panel session at Club MIPIM 22, when we discussed the growing importance of social sustainability. This is something very close to our hearts at Box Architects, because of the wide range of projects within our retirement housing portfolio. In short, by delivering sustainable, inclusive and affordable retirement properties we’re not only benefitting the older generation but also society as a whole.
Creating high-quality, long-term retirement accommodation frees up other housing in towns where there are large stocks of large, low-occupancy homes. The resulting influx of families and younger people can provide a welcome boost to local shops and services, and provide economic benefits for the whole area. Bespoke student accommodation can offer similar benefits as well, but we also need to look at how to minimise the impact of construction noise, dirt and disruption on local businesses and communities.
Here at Box Architects, we believe that embracing Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) is the best way for architects, developers and clients to support this drive for environmental and social sustainability. We devoted our latest edition of Box Talks to the subject, and have published a white paper on how to break down some of the barriers to adoption.
In fact, in our studio at the moment, more than half of our projects have an MMC aspect. More and more clients are turning to us to help them deliver faster and cleaner MMC projects that tackle the climate emergency, reduce waste and futureproof their portfolios.”
“In short, by delivering sustainable, inclusive and affordable retirement properties we’re not only benefitting the older generation but also society as a whole.”
Graham Place, CEO, Box Architects