Greening Build to Rent
"It's important for those spearheading any new sector to set standards that others can aspire to. That's why Atlas Residential, together with our building owners, is firmly focused on how we can ensure that our Build to Rent homes are as respectful of the planet as possible. It's about setting the scene for a joined up approach, with the future firmly in mind." (Jonathon Ivory, Managing Director, Atlas Residential)
The company's renewed focus on placing sustainability first can be seen in operation at Bow Square, Southampton, which it manages for Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP ("Rockspring"), a PATRIZIA company, as the development incorporates a variety of environmentally friendly features and follows 'green' procurement, construction, and employment and training policies (which give preference to employees living locally, within easy walking or cycling distance).
Photovoltaic panels on the roof supply common areas with electricity. The communal courtyard is planted with bee-friendly plants, with varieties of lavender and rosemary, sedum roofs and insect towers. Tree planting has also taken place along Queensway to enhance the area and provide shade while also adding vital greenery to the site.
Additionally, shower facilities have been provided to encourage the Atlas Residential team to cycle to work.
Encouraging a greener lifestyle
The company is also encouraging and enabling residents to live greener lives through a community engagement programme that issues residents with complimentary canvas bags when they move in, and reminds them of the Bow Square development's extensive cycle storage facilities and a YoBikes scheme located on site for those who do not have bicycles (the second Phase of construction alone includes installation of 106 bicycle storage racks).
Efforts are also in place to encourage residents to recycle their waste with recycling facilities available throughout the community via designated containers for sorting waste streams.
Moreover, the company celebrates initiatives such as Plastic Free July, to show how simple lifestyle changes can make a difference at a global level.
Plastic Free July
"Buildings produce something like 60% of the waste to landfill. As a business and building operator we have a responsibility not just to control our own waste but also to try to influence our residents to improve their habits.
"Plastic Free July is a fantastic concept, asking people to change their habits for a month and hopefully a lifetime. We have embraced it as a business because we are concerned for the compromised world our children will inherit. The time for change is upon all of us, now.
"As Barack Obama said: 'Change will not come if we wait for some other person.'" (Quentin Keeble, Development Manager, Atlas Residential).
Plastic Free July aims to reduce or completely exclude use of single-use plastic.
As well as providing residents with reusable bags, Atlas Residential is encouraging them to engage with coffee shops' 'bring your own cup' offers, which often offer a discount for those not taking single use cups, and to say no to straws in coffee shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants. Plastic coffee lids are also out, while reusable drinks bottles are in. The idea is to encourage Bow Square residents to make small, simple changes for the whole of July, with the hope that those changes will go on to last a lifetime.