NextGeneration, which benchmarks the sustainability performance of the UK’s largest homebuilders, awarded Lendlease the top spot for the second consecutive year due to its efforts in areas such as environmental management, procurement, customer engagement and community development.

Lendlease’s £2.3bn regeneration project of Elephant Park in Elephant & Castle was singled out as an example of best practice. The project, which participates in the global C40 Cities Climate Positive Development Program, has seen the developer replace carbon-intensive materials with greener alternatives such as cross-laminated timber and geopolymer concrete.

Lendlease has also built 15 Futurehome buildings to Passivhaus standard in Zone One London.

Commenting on the award, Lendlease’s managing director of sustainability and external affairs Paul King said: “Sustainability is about creating places for people and meeting their needs for the future.

“Whether that’s building homes to very high levels of energy efficiency or creating green spaces in urban places, we have a collective responsibility to help establish vibrant and prosperous communities which stand the test of time.”

Step ahead

The report, devised by JLL and overseen by the UK Green Building Council, puts Barratt Homes and Redrow in second and third places respectively. All seven NextGeneration members – which includes Berkeley Group and Taylor Wimpey – lead the industry with an average sustainability score of 72%, well above the industry average of 39%.

“JLL’s analysis shows that NextGeneration members are a step ahead of the industry,” said JLL head of sustainability Sophie Walker. “Quality is driving sustainability issues in the UK homebuilding sector and members of this benchmark are placing demand for quality at the heart of everything they do.

“Whether it’s implementing placemaking principles, promoting health and wellbeing or measuring socio-economic impacts, Lendlease. Barratt Homes and Redrow have all shown that they are at the forefront of high quality sustainable homebuilding this year.”

Key trends

The report highlights the key trends for sustainable housebuilding in the UK. It focuses on the issues around air quality, with the study touching upon green infrastructure, air filtration and monitoring as practical approaches to tackle the issue.

NextGeneration also highlights blockchain as an area that will impact on the housing market in the near future, through peer-to-peer renewable energy trading and smart property and planning systems.

The report comes a week after the launch of a £1.4m research project, funded by BEIS, which will look at how to increase the number of low-cost, low-carbon housing. The Aecom-led project will monitor three schemes in Swansea, Bristol and Manchester for 12 months, with a view to upscaling the developments on a commercial level.

Last month, Lord Deben warned that the UK’s biggest housebuilders build “crap houses” that cheat the public because their energy efficiency is far lower than claimed – typically costing buyers £250-a-year extra in fuel.

George Ogleby

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