Win win at the NextGeneration Innovation Event

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9 September 2019

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Redrow measure value while Town get residents involved.  

The NextGeneration Innovation Award recognises sustainability initiatives by UK homebuilders that surpass the criteria used for the NextGeneration benchmark. Earlier this week Redrow Homes was awarded this year’s prize for their bespoke social value calculator, coming out ahead of a very strong field of entries.

The NextGeneration Executive Committee, comprising representatives from the UKGBC and Homes England, was “impressed by the ambitious scope and scale of the project submitted by Redrow for the Innovation Award. The Social Value Calculator offers a robust, academic, industry leading tool which focuses on a part of sustainability we recognise is of growing importance in the homebuilding sector. By developing this tool, Redrow not only promotes positive change on a large scale across their own business but also to the wider industry.”

Maria Gkonou, the Sustainability Manager for Redrow, presented the methodology used by the calculator to quantify social value and shared the results of the first round of their research. Redrow were surprised to find that community outcomes, such as borrowing from neighbours provided the highest overall additional social value compared to home, place and socio-economic outcomes such being close to green space. Feeling safe at home provided the highest total social value on the household level, above other outcomes such as views of nature or a larger than average home. The next step of the project will be to investigate how the findings can be used to improve future Redrow developments and residents’ wellbeing.

Guest speaker Neil Murphy from TOWN gave an inspiring talk on the process of developing their award-winning cohousing scheme: Marmalade Lane in Cambridge.

TOWN took a user-led custom build approach to the 42-household collective cohousing project. The future residents collaborated with the developers on the scheme design which prioritises quality housing as well as social and environmental initiatives. Marmalade Lane has limited parking spaces to encourage sustainable transportation, is close to passivhaus performance with an annual heating energy demand of 35kWh/m²/year across the site and includes a large shared garden and community hall to support group activities. As Neil explained, “you get better urbanism if you engage people in making it.”

Sophie Walker, Head of Sustainability at JLL UK acted as moderator of the discussion, sharing her expertise and insights while fielding questions from an audience of developers, investors and homebuilders. Overall it was a morning filled with inspiring innovation – thank you to everyone who attended!

What’s next? The NextGeneration benchmark annual report, which ranks the UK’s most sustainable homebuilder, will be released at the Launch Event scheduled for the beginning of December 2019.