Objective: Minimise resource consumption and improve air quality
Working in partnership with Greengage sustainability consultancy, we are looking to achieve the Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice. We are trialling monitoring water and electricity usage on our Nile Street project based in Hackney. This will enable us to assess where we can make energy savings and efficiencies on site and predict likely future demands.
This has enabled us to find trends within our usage on site and notice spikes, which highlighted an issue to look into. Whilst we would expect spikes at certain stages of a project, e.g., electricity goes up in winter with the use of heaters, we were also noticed an increase in water usage and found this was due to a leak on site. The time saved by having easily accessible information, by anyone on the project, also reduces time spent chasing for readings making it much more efficient.
Using this project timeline as a template, we will be able to more accurately predict energy use for future projects of a similar nature. This will enable us to set a baseline and targets for reducing our consumption via improved procurement of site set up facilities and more energy efficient equipment on site.
Another trial implemented by Greengage, was the installation of an air quality monitor and whilst we have noise and dust monitors on site, we wanted to test the air within the office space.
Poor air quality can have a both a negative impact on health, from eye irritations to chest infections and more severe respiratory issues. However, studies are now beginning to show that it can also impact productivity and decision making.
Using the first quarterly report as a baseline, we become aware of areas for development and are now looking into improve ventilation and insulation to moderate temperatures on site.
Following high levels of VOCs, we now have a better understanding of what bad air quality can be attributed to, such as, photocopiers, shredders, cleaning products, highlighters and tippex.
Therefore, we are focusing our efforts to research product use on sites from a different perspective looking at not just the most environmentally sustainable, but also in their impact on the air
quality. This will enable us to look forward to setting up healthier new project sites, for both the global environment and the individuals working within the spaces.