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Prioritising sustainable buildings and pursuing a sustainable agenda

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“In 5 years’ time the entire basis of your business is going to have to change, and either you’re ahead of that change or you’re playing catch up, it’s your choice.”

That’s the stark warning from architectural designer and Channel 4 presenter Charlie Luxton, to businesses who he says are often focused on keeping costs down in the current financial climate, rather than prioritising sustainable building.

Luxton, who’s spent the last 24 years fronting television programmes like ‘Building the Dream’ and ‘Homes by the Sea’, passionately argues that building firms have to think about the carbon footprint of their construction projects, and that will save money in the long term.

“It’s very high in everyone’s ambitions lists” he says, but in reality this becomes ‘it’s quite nice to have …. but actually we can get by without it”. In an interview for HSS ProService’s podcast 'The Drill', he explains that if construction companies are serious about proving their environmental credentials, they’re going to have to clearly demonstrate how they’re measuring the carbon footprint of their builds.

Luxton knows how important it is to keep track of carbon emissions when building, running, maintaining and eventually demolishing a building. However, he accepts that the amount of red tape and cost means there’s a danger companies are put off pursuing a sustainable agenda. As the founder of his own architecture practice specialising in sustainable design, he knows firsthand the barriers the industry is up against, warning “I think there is a real danger that we will alienate and not lead”.

Dani Hodges from HSS ProService understands the problem too;

“Some of our customers are faced with these challenges of wanting to do the right thing, but it’s not always economically feasible and it’s a really difficult challenge. We want to give customers the tools to make better choices for our planet.”

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