Change is fascinating – how ideas take hold, start a movement, and can become embedded in our psyche is amazing.
A great example of this is the BBC’s Blue Planet – we may have just witnessed an environmental revolution from which we will never be the same again. In a one-hour slot this programme changed the minds and habits like nothing that had gone before. And I believe this is only the start.
How we think about what we use, how we repurpose will have a massive impact on everything we do – from recycling old technology, to the clothes we wear and the spaces we occupy; change will come.
With regards to property there has been some great movements in recent years – reduction in construction waste being sent to landfill being one example, with the recovery rate for non-hazardous construction and demolition materials in 2014 sitting at 89.9% according to DEFRA. The publication of the UK government’s Resource and Waste strategy in December has further reinforced the urgency for waste minimisation and promotion of resource efficiency which will continue to push the industry towards a more circular economy.
The construction industry is still a huge consumer of materials – the BREEAM Mat 6 states the construction industry accounts for approx 55%, with building (and their operations) contributing to 50% total CO2 emissions. The industry is also massive consumers of raw materials including approximately 26% of aluminium, 50% of steel, and 25% of plastic.
Construction, deconstruction and reuse will undoubtably have a massive impact on our industry and our lives as we come to appreciate the current model is not sustainable. Understanding what you have, where it was purchased, how it is being used, and what happens at the end of life is essential. We are seeing a new breed of digital footprint being created that covers every facet of property lifecycle – space, asset, utilisation, which will ultimately lead to greater insight, reducing costs and lowering our carbon footprint.
Let’s hope that with regards to the impact on oceans, or the optimisation of our property, this revolution is here to stay.