BUILDING GREENER

Building Greener is our way of making sure we consider the pillars of sustainability in everything we do.

We have annual reduction targets for energy, waste, water, carbon, biodiversity, procurement and we aim to send the absolute minimum of waste to landfill.

What is Building Greener?

What is Building Greener?

Building Greener is our way of making sure we consider the pillars of sustainability in everything we do.

Simons established its Building Greener strategy in 2010 and it has been at the heart of our way of working ever since. Strengthening the company’s sustainable initiatives, targets covered include water, carbon, biodiversity, responsible sourcing and waste.

We aim to reduce waste to landfill by 50% each year and have consistently outperformed this target. We are now on track to complete all projects with 100% diversion this year.

Building Greener 2020 Targets

Building Greener 2020 Targets

Biodiversity

Deliver all Development projects with a significant contribution to wildlife habitat by 2020

Carbon

Deliver zero carbon buildings by 2020

Water

Deliver projects with minimal water demand and drought resilience in 2020

Deliver zero waste projects by 2020

Responsible sourcing

Deliver 100% responsibly sourced by 2020

Biodiversity

Biodiversity

Deliver all development projects with a significant contribution to wildlife habitat

Carbon

Carbon

Deliver zero carbon buildings as a zero carbon business

Water

Water

Deliver projects with minimal water demand, flood and drought resilience

Biodiversity Awareness

Biodiversity Awareness

We have been raising awareness about the importance of biodiversity from plant and insect species to birds, mammals and amphibians.

This is a challenging area because sometimes ecological protection works are costly and cause delay. Reintroducing wildlife on completion of projects also needs to be very carefully managed to avoid harm. We have used the BREEAM species diversity calculator tool to commence the review of each site at inception stage and proceed to using an ecologist ahead of the design stage (RIBA Stage B-C). The aim is to have a positive score at completion.

Our Development Projects all have a site biodiversity plan which will build space for wildlife habitat into each scheme from the earliest stages and ensure we can deliver sites in the future with positive biodiversity change.

By 2020 we hope that every development will make a significant contribution to biodiversity and habitat creation.

Carbon Emissions

Carbon Emissions

Our aim is to be a zero carbon business, delivering zero carbon buildings by 2020.

We have been measuring our carbon footprint since 2008, with a target to make reductions equivalent to the emissions from our Head Office each year..

Our achievements have included:

  • Promoting better driving, car maintenance, meeting and journey planning, car sharing, using video conferencing and remote working to reduce trips.
  • Moved a number of servers to a virtual environment, saving 5.8t of CO² and reducing cooling load for the Head Office building.
  • Utilised better performing, well-insulated site cabins.
  • Promoted temporary mains electricity on site rather than generators where feasible and used smaller generators.

Construction
Waste

Construction Waste

We aim to eliminate waste to landfill and waste generation generally by utilising best practice advice from organisations such as WRAP, using SMARTWaste and with help from our Waste Broker, GoGreen. Offsite fabrication and modularisation have been shown to result in the most waste efficient sites. We also want to raise awareness about waste reduction with consultants and suppliers. Ultimately waste reduction goes hand in hand with our embodied carbon targets because both are all about resource efficiency.

In 2008, Simons signed up to the WRAP halving waste to landfill commitment. We vastly exceeded this commitment to half waste to landfill in 2012. With many projects now diverting well over 99% of waste from landfill we hope to be able to reduce landfill waste to almost zero in 2014.

We are also working on cutting waste generation with company targets on all projects currently beyond BREEAM best practice waste reduction levels.

We hope that lean construction, off-site fabrication and BIM aided waste planning will all help to lead us towards building projects without skips by 2020.

Research Areas

Research Areas

Post Occupancy Evaluation

We are working with several customers to understand how occupant satisfaction can be measured to support design innovations such as better quality landscaping and comfort.

Climate Adaptation

We are looking at the impact of climate change on procurement and programming on construction sites, and design and refurbishment for future climates.

Responsible Procurement

Responsible Procurement

We have developed our sustainable procurement strategy (Including timber certification and monitoring environmental and ethical standards) achieved by product suppliers on major projects.

We have various events and activities to raise awareness of sustainability and ethical issues with consultants and supply chain.

Simons only permit FSC and PEFC timber to be used on our sites. We are aiming for 100% of building to hold certification to demonstrate sustainable and ethical sourcing by 2020.

Water

Water in our Offices

The majority of flushing water in our head office has been rainwater fed since 2006.

We have replaced the flow restrictors on our Head Office hand wash basin taps to cut the flow by 40% (to 5 litres per minute). No-one could actually see the difference until we compared how fast it took to fill a paper cup.

Typically we use 20 litres per person per day mains water, although in months when no rainfall is recorded this more than doubles.

In order to help reduce water demand we have installed a water management system to control urinal flushing better - so far we have seen a reduction of over 60%.

By 2020 it is our hope that most of the projects we build will be almost self-sufficient for grey water and be both flood and drought resilient.

Where possible, our Development Projects have rainwater harvesting and sustainable urban drainage.

Corporate Responsibility

Corporate Responsibility

Corporate responsibility at Simons is about delivering great projects whilst upholding a clear commitment to our values. Click here to view our Corporate Responsibility page.
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