New housing is a priority across Wales with the government aiming to boost the economy and improve the amount of available housing. Our team at Roberts Limbrick has worked on many new developments, from those in city centres to large developments forming small towns. Those who design them have a responsibility to make them sustainable and think about the well-being of the future residents.
Some parts of Wales are still feeling the effects of closures of the heavy industries, but we’re pleased to see new developments helping to reinvigorate many of these areas. In fact, Wales is leading the predicted demand for newly built homes when compared to the rest of the UK. These housing developments boost local economies from the outset through initial construction employment and beyond. Construction of these developments provides direct employment opportunities as well as secondary economic benefits to existing businesses in the surrounding areas over substantial durations. The long-term benefit of these developments is an influx of new residents moving into the available housing which further boosts the local economy as services and infrastructure naturally expand to suit the needs of the growing population.
Sustainability is front and centre when it comes to determining appropriate strategies for development and takes many forms as it is such a broad area. Social and economic aspects come into play just as much as more generally understood concepts of energy use, carbon emissions and environmental impacts.
A sustainable approach to development is holistic and begins with looking at opportunities to re-use and re-invigorate existing assets and infrastructure, as well as how best to interact with the context and orientation of suitable sites. This approach naturally highlights the best qualities of the surrounding character and setting and provides benefits to the settlements already present in the location of a new development.
Utilising sustainable drainage strategies, incorporating bio-diverse landscaping and adopting low-to-zero carbon technologies - all in part being driven by Welsh Assembly Government objectives – enables new developments to support and work in harmony with nearby communities instead of setting up competition for habitats and resources. Lowering running costs of these developments is high upon the agenda for most end-users and improving energy performance in new developments is central to addressing this concern. All of these factors are taken into consideration when designing a new development, ultimately improving the future sustainability of Wales.
Recent changes to building regulations regarding energy and power usage in dwellings that have had a widespread impact on building technology and specification are only one stage of an ongoing process of reform and will continue as part of the ‘race to zero’. The construction sector will need to remain agile and anticipate further regulatory changes with research and development brought forward on new products, systems and technologies to meet the ever-increasing performance demands.
More and more of the developments we are involved in utilise modern methods of construction (lightweight steel, timber frame, volumetric prefabricated). These methods will play a significant role in the future due to their increased accuracy, which reduces waste and improves construction precision. This, in turn, positively affects air-tightness and energy efficiency. We all have a role to play in delivering a sustainable future and Roberts Limbrick are proud to be involved in projects at the forefront of this exciting area.
Can we help your next project in South Wales? Contact the Newport team on 03333 405500 or email email@example.com.