“Waste management, recycling and the efficient use of resources are key considerations for a sustainable house builder, it’s not just about fitting headlinegrabbing solar panels and wind turbines” says property developer Telford Homes Plc. Telford Homes is committed to designing and constructing schemes to reduce environmental impact and has put together a policy setting out standards for its subcontractors and suppliers. This focuses not only on features the Company is fitting in its developments such as biomass boilers, solar panels and water-saving devices but also on sourcing sustainable construction materials and recycling waste. This environmental commitment runs through all phases of construction. For example, all the crushed concrete from the former college buildings at Queen Mary’s Gate is being re-used for new roads and infrastructure on the same site. Where biomass boilers will be utilised, such as at the OneStratford site, unused timber is chipped for fuel to provide heating and hot water for the apartments. Once the building is occupied, this system will be fuelled by wood pellets from managed forests.

Telford Homes follows a policy of off-site manufacture wherever possible to minimise wastage. This includes bathroom pods that are fitted ready-constructed as well as extensive use of specialist cladding systems.

“Waste management is an important aspect of energy efficient house building, to which Telford Homes is committed as part of our overall environmental strategy,” comments Chris Dreher, Commercial Director of Telford Homes’ Alto division. As well as biomass boilers across the schemes, ground source heat pumps and high-performance glazing systems are utilised to minimise energy-loss. Telford Homes is also fitting a number of internal features to increase energy efficiency for residents to reduce their energy bills as well as their carbon footprint. These include low energy light fittings, dual-flush toilets, aerators on taps and flow restrictors on showers as water saving measures.

Future innovations being explored include aerofoil shaped buildings to incorporate wind turbines, full elevations of solar panels that blend with the facade and an innovative structural timber panel system which dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of the building.

Mark Duffield, Technical Director of Telford Homes’ Metro division, says this is an exciting time in house building: “Having Government eco targets means all developers have to build more efficiently. This will drive the technology forward even faster, leading to new innovations and lower prices for the consumer. That’s got to be a good thing.”

He continued, “Buyers are already starting to ask about our eco credentials and this will only increase over the coming months so it is extremely important that we make the issue a top priority.”

This commitment to the environment extends to the land surrounding developments too. A number of developments now incorporate indigenous planting as part of their ecological strategy. Bird and bat boxes have also been introduced to encourage urban wildlife in conjunction with ‘green’ and ‘brown’ roofs.

“Telford Homes takes the issue very seriously,” says James Gaffney, Construction Director of the Alto Division. “We are keen to embrace organisations such as the Environment Agency and British Waterways right at the start of a project and nurture that relationship to the benefit of the environment. Our reputation is as a small, family-friendly business in tune with the local community as well as the local environment. We want that to uphold that reputation into the future.”

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