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evolutionSummer2015

25 Karen Lambert, Marketing Director UK & Ireland, Interface, discusses the new CIRIA environmental fit-out guide and how it can be used to create stronger cohesion through the supply chain Fit-out guidance to support sustainable practices The construction industry is under pressure to meet stringent sustainability targets, and as such, specifications will often place a significant emphasis on lowering the environmental impact of a project. The fit-out sector faces unique challenges, including the need for a quick turnaround, controlling costs and on-site practicalities. The design stage has the potential to be one of the most critical stages in determining the overall environmental impact of a building, both in terms of initial set-up and also its long-term impact in-use. The fit-out will influence how the building is used and its impact on the environment for years to come. When considering the impact of a project, it is important not to focus on certain aspects, or products, in isolation. To create a genuinely sustainable solution, it is important to consider the comprehensive impact of a project. Achieving this relies on setting clear goals upfront to provide direction for all those involved, and working together throughout the supply chain. Above and beyond regulations The construction industry is becoming increasingly regulated in terms of sustainability. There are a number of standards contractors need to be aware of in terms of, for example, energy efficiency and in certain industries, such as the public sector, minimum performance ratings apply (under schemes such as SKA Rating or BREEAM). Being aware of these standards, and how to meet them, is crucial from a legal perspective. However, aside from the legalities, there are also a number of other environmental benefits that can be achieved through good environmental management in the fit-out project life cycle, not least cost savings. Efficient use of materials and good waste management can result in significant cost reductions. Additionally, significant cost savings can be made over the life of the building by implementing energy-efficient technologies. There are also a number of schemes that can help achieve good environmental performance in the fit-out and operation of buildings. These include BREEAM schemes, as well as the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-In tariffs designed to incentivise the use of renewable energy sources in building operation. A sustainable plan Arguably, one of the most crucial phases of a project is the planning and development stage, before any construction work takes place. Setting clear goals in this phase will help to guide the project. It is also important to consider the project in its entirety there are several areas that can have a significant impact on the overall performance of the building. The carbon footprint and energy performance tend to be the first considerations, and while they are crucial, it is also important to consider things such as the well-being of the building occupants. The Courtyard – contemplation space, courtesy of Morgan Lovell, Nuffield Health


evolutionSummer2015
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