As demonstrated at the Smart Buildings Show 2021, new technology is driving transformational change across the property sector. Making a building more ‘intelligent’ can deliver a raft of benefits and one of the most significant is reducing energy use and carbon.

Technological advances ranging from artificial intelligence and smarter lighting, through to intelligent building management systems and digital sensors were just some of the innovations on show at the event and which can contribute towards a greener future.

As we embark on the path to net zero, finding new and innovative ways to cut carbon emissions has never been so important. As well as making new buildings more energy efficient, there is an urgent need to retrofit existing properties to ensure they meet net zero targets. This is a huge challenge that will not only require new technologies to be cost-effectively installed, but a supply chain with the right skills to implement them.

Joining forces

Finding solutions to these issues won’t happen overnight. There is a steep learning curve ahead and getting to the top will require greater collaboration from all those working in the built environment.

In the public sector, where there is a large and diverse range of buildings, the value of partnership working can’t be underestimated. From the refurbishment of leisure centres and schools, through to the construction of new homes and hospital buildings, public sector construction provides key opportunities for learning.

Project teams that play a part in these schemes are ideally placed to explore the impact of green technologies and construction practices on different types of buildings and raise awareness of their benefits.

 Building knowledge

At Diamond Build, we have put sustainability at the forefront of a new mixed-use development we are building in Tottenham.  The 51,000 sq ft scheme will offer 13,000 sq ft of office space and 48 new homes, including one and two-bedroom apartments as well as three-bedroom duplex houses spread across four blocks. On the ground floor, 50 per cent of the office accommodation will be used as Diamond Build Group’s new head office with the other half available to local businesses at affordable rent.

To reduce the scheme’s environmental impact and carbon emissions we are using a mix of technologies and building materials. These include solar panels, air source heat pumps and highly effective insulation to reduce carbon emissions below those required by Part L of the Building Regulations 2013. Green roofs and bird boxes will also be installed along with additional planting on the first-floor podium.

As the contractor of the development as well as the owner, we hope to gain valuable insights both in the short and long term that will help inform our future design work and we can share with our public sector clients and supply chain.

A smarter approach

As the pressure builds on all businesses to reduce carbon footprints, finding viable solutions is rapidly moving up the agenda. Everyone working in property and construction will need to think and work smarter, not only in terms of technology but how we collaborate to ensure we share knowledge and insights that benefit all of us.

John Gray, Chairman Diamond Build Group

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