"Through sustainable development we endeavour to create new communities for today and the future. Using our skills and consultation with our design teams we aspire to enhance the environment in which we are working and secure it for the future".
In order to achieve and support the above statement, we have set out a framework within which to operate and we have set benchmarks against which we will be able to assess our environmental management performance. Through this document we aim to explain the measures in place and outline our intentions for the future.
Ethical Sourcing & Efficient Use of Resources
- Where possible, Gower Homes specifies products and materials which generate the least environmental impact, including timber from managed plantations, aggregates from the closest quarries and non-toxic paints.
- The hardwoods we use are from certified sources.
- Gower Homes seek to deal only with suppliers and sub-contractors able to demonstrate their commitment to the environment through their own codes of practice.
- Gower Homes has long standing relationships with local suppliers and sub-contractors, enabling us to develop more environmentally friendly methods together to reduce impact we have as an industry.
Revitalisation of Land & Sustainable Developments
- One of the most important environmental impacts we have is recovery and revitalisation of land. For many years Gower Homes has been acquiring and reclaiming redundant land for new developments.
- Utilising the skills and experience gained over time in urban regeneration and re-development of brown field sites, we have been able to have a positive impact on the environment, community and economy of neglected areas. Our success in land regeneration has been achieved through sound teamwork with our designers, architects and others to produce modern and exciting living environments.
- Gower Homes enhances the environment and community by planting new trees, open space landscapes and investing in play areas, footpaths and traffic calming measures as well as protecting natural wildlife habitats including pond reclamation and enhancement of bat roosts.
- The majority of our recent sites have been previously developed brown field sites. When we develop sites that have not been previously developed (green field sites) - green field being the general description of previously undeveloped land and not to be confused with "green belt" or "green barrier"), we only develop low grade agricultural or accommodation land and ensure through landscape and ecological design that the ecological value of the site is greater when we finish than it was before we started.
It must be appreciated that the population of England and Wales has increased by 400,000 per year over the last 10 years, according to the Office of National Statistics in Sept 2012, and the house builders do have to find sufficient land to sensibly house the increasing population.
Energy Efficient Design
- We recognise the importance of energy efficiency and water management.
- All new Gower Homes dwellings have dual flush toilets and low flow basin taps incorporated into the specification to reduce water consumption.
- The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) energy ratings for all our developments are provided so customers can see the energy running costs of the dwelling, our minimum energy rating is a B rating (on a scale of G to A, with A being the highest score).
- All electrical appliances included in our specification are either AA or AB rated for energy usage.
- All internal and external light fittings in all of our homes are now low energy lighting.
- We fit the most efficient central heating system with combi boiler, thermostat valves and temperature zone controls which allow independent heat settings for ground and first floor.
- To understand how energy efficient our 2012 houses are, they are 25% more efficient than houses built in 2009 (under part L 2006), which in turn are 25% more efficient than houses built in 2005 (under part L 2002). These improvements represent a large saving in energy bills for the homeowner.
- We have introduced new measures on our new sites, to increase the amount of material we re-cycle and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.
- Any surplus materials are re-used on our developments wherever possible, therefore reducing the need for transport and eliminating the impact caused by disposal.
- We protect and establish natural habitats for wildlife wherever possible on our schemes, recently this has included the installation of bird and bat boxes, and pond restoration.
- All developments include new planting and new trees and extensive landscaping.
All our sub-contractors work in a way that retains and protects any existing habitats.