Property Developers Urged to Start Thinking Green; Industry Now Has No Option, Says Professor

Article excerpt

Byline: BY RICHARD DOWN Daily Post Staff

PROPERTY developers from across Merseyside are gearing up to celebrate the efforts of those companies behind the colossal regeneration of the region.

But a leading industry academic, and member of the judging panel, is warning the Daily Post Regional Property Awards 2008 should seek to attract projects and companies which are taking a wider view of energy efficiency and environmental controls.

Prof Andrew Thomas, operations director at the Centre for Construction Innovation, will help judge this year's awards at the BT convention centre.

He points out the industry has no option but to factor in environmental concerns when managing any construction project.

A fact file of statistics underline how important going green is when assessing any project.

"Construction uses 53% of primary materials and leaves the second largest environmental footprint after food," Prof Thomas said.

"About 13m tonnes of materials are delivered and not used and construction produces 90m tonnes of waste - three times the levels of domestic waste. On top of this 21% of all hazardous waste is produced by developers."

The Salford University academic points out these alarming statistics have forced the Government to temper aspirational development with legislation that demands attention to its own impact.

Laws including Landfill Taxation, Emissions Trading, Climate Change Levy along with Site Waste Management Plans (2004) and OGC Common Minimum Standards (2006) have all been imposed to minimise harmful developments.

He told the Post this was important both in the construction process and the final product.

"Quite simply higher energy costs mean more efficient buildings are required while Home Improvement Packs mean energy efficiency is monitored and reported.

"On the process side developers are driving forward to better manage construction material waste and think about recycling more seriously"

Projects he singles out as successes include the Echo Arena Liverpool, at the Kings Dock, where developers reused almost every thing they dug up on site.

Prof Thomas singles out a pounds 6. …