The Drew Smith Group has worked hard to ensure that our developments and way of working has a positive impact within the communities and the environment where we operate.
This has been accomplished through a keen focus on the key elements of Sustainability:
The business continually strives for excellence on this aspect of what we do and as we have developed our approach a number of changes to the team structure have been made.
One such aspect is the introduction of our Technical Department. Whilst the technical side of construction has always been well managed in the team we have realised the importance of assigning more technical managers to the sustainability issues, with a real focus on making a difference. This has enabled us many times to rationalise and economise the design prior to its final planning submission and then to act in a supporting role throughout the construction process.
A major part of this approach is to focus on the sustainability of each scheme, primarily through the use of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Our technical department has over 60 years combined experience in construction and at least 30 years combined experience of managing sustainability in construction. This has been achieved using both Eco Homes and the Code for Sustainable Homes and to date the team has worked on over 500 units under this Code.
The majority of the schemes we work on come to us as an initial planning concept from our Client. This has enabled the team early on to develop the form and size of the units in order to make the most of the buildings fabric through thermal efficiencies.
Once the basic fabric has been designed the team then calculates how to form the best energy strategy for the homes. As a number of the schemes are off of the gas grid this ensures that the best system is utilised leading to less use of energy.
This means that before work has commenced sustainability is already high on the agenda. In addition every Drew Smith site has an environmental risk assessment carried out prior to commencement. This assessment ensures that any risks to the environment, including the visual aspect are considered.
Waste management is considered to be one of the best tools the construction industry can use on site to reduce the waste impact from this multibillion pound industry. To manage our waste, designers are involved early on to reduce site works and to make the design work most efficiently with the material requirements. We realise the benefit that careful waste management brings both in terms of ecological and monetary costs.
This assessment along with the other tools we use ensures that our sites do not have a negative impact on the environment and also ensures that we can in some way enhance the environment either directly or indirectly within the community.