Using sustainable design and construction (SDC) techniques ensures that the environmental impacts of buildings are minimised as far as possible. Buildings of all types and sizes have the potential to reduce their impact on the environment, including by minimising their contribution to climate change and by using less resources.
Sustainable design and construction (SDC) covers a wide range of issues including:
- mitigating climate change and reducing fuel poverty – through improving energy efficiency and incorporation of low carbon and renewable energy technologies
- water use – reducing water use through water efficiency and use of rainwater and grey water recycling wherever possible
- materials – promoting use of sustainably sourced, low impact materials
- waste – reducing waste through reuse and recycling of demolition and construction waste and incorporation of accessible recycling facilities within new developments
- construction impacts – minimisation of impacts of construction on the environment, including through measures to limit pollution, reduce energy and water use
- biodiversity – incorporating green roofs, bird and bat boxes, trees and ecological planting to create habitats for wildlife
- climate change adaptation – water conservation, reduction of flood risk and prevention of overheating (e.g. through use of trees and other features to shade the building)
- sustainable drainage – reducing water runoff through use of green roofs, permeable paving, landscape design and other sustainable drainage techniques
Sustainable building standards such as the Code for Sustainable Homes and the British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) are particularly useful tools; they assess the performance of buildings on a number of different SDC criteria (e.g. energy use, water, materials) and combine these individual scores to provide an overall rating for the building e.g. BREEAM ‘Excellent’.
Islington Council encourages developers to achieve the highest practicable levels of environmental performance in all developments through robust application of planning policies and positive encouragement/promotion of relevant options and technologies. For example, we require all developments to achieve an Excellent rating under the BREEAM Assessment or an equivalent rating under the Code for Sustainable Homes assessment system. For more information on sustainable design and construction see the council's Sustainable Design webpage.
For more information on the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM see the downloadable introduction document on the bottom of the page.