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Integrating sustainability to reduce the environmental impact of our cities on the future

“Integrating sustainability in every stage of development is vital for reducing the environmental impact of our cities on the future” says Queensberry Director

In response to the urgent call to address the climate emergency, governments worldwide are intensifying efforts to achieve ambitious zero-carbon goals. In light of the recent U-turn on eco-friendly policies by the current Government, Rob Hughes, Project Director at Queensberry, shares his thoughts on why we must continue to prioritise sustainability when regenerating towns and cities in the UK.

“A pressing need for carbon reduction is particularly pronounced in towns and cities, which are the natural clusters where people gather to live, work, and socialise.

“Recognising this imperative, regeneration projects must place sustainability at the forefront of their mission. It is no longer sufficient for sustainability to be a mere nod; it must be fully integrated throughout the design, consultation, and operational phases, ensuring a lasting impact for future generations.

“It is crucial to extend our perspective beyond the immediate future. With the construction phase representing at most around 10% of a building's life cycle, a forward-thinking approach is essential. Embracing the reuse of existing structures and implementing smarter construction practices, such as reducing on-site carbon vehicle traffic and leveraging sustainable energy sources, are pivotal steps towards a greener future.

“Technology plays a key role in this paradigm shift. At Queensberry, we continue to urge designers to embrace and push the boundaries of new technology, aligning innovation with sustainability goals. Integrating sustainability in our developments is not limited to construction but extends to every stakeholder involved – from designers and contractors to end users.

“Fantastic examples of this commitment to sustainability are evident in projects like Our Cultural Heart in Kirklees and Doncaster Station Gateway. Both projects are not merely reacting to the climate emergency; they are proactively investing in and achieving sustainable targets.

“Doncaster Station Gateway, with its impressive EPC rating of A and zero-carbon status, stands as a model for how embracing change can reset a market benchmark and respond effectively to the climate emergency.

“Our commitment stretches beyond commercial interests; we are at the forefront of redefining urban sustainability. In various towns where sustainability targets are faltering, our team steps in to redevelop spaces without wholesale demolition, emphasising the importance of the reuse and reconditioning of original buildings.

“All stakeholders in the development landscape must insist on meeting climate emergency targets. This commitment should be as integral to our mindset as the commercial viability of buildings. It is imperative that we begin to seamlessly weave sustainable philosophy into the very design principles that shape our urban spaces to allow us to create vibrant, eco-friendly spaces that will stand the test of time.”

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