SUSTAINABLE development is part of the very fabric of Esh Group and not bolted on as an afterthought.
12th October 2016
From conception to delivery, sustainability is built into Esh Group’s work and the firm is showing how construction in the 21st century could be approached.
From day one Esh Group’s approach can save money for clients, time on site and have environmental benefits.
Simon explains: “The design stage is where the greatest potential for savings exists – it is possible to reduce carbon by as much as 50 per cent by using sustainable design.
“We look at everything from the ‘embodied carbon’ in materials (the energy it takes to create and transport them) to how deep we need to dig a hole.
“For example our Fisher Street development delivered massive savings by using a soil nailing method to create a retaining wall rather than a traditional steel structure.
“Steel has a significant amount of embodied carbon – and is more costly to transport because it is heavy – so our soil nailing solution was a big win in terms of the costs and carbon reduction.
“The amount of carbon saved by changing the design was the equivalent of 480 flights from London to Sydney.”
As well as designing out carbon and producing cost savings, sustainable design also takes into account everything from using recycled materials to the methods of heating a building.
Esh Group also looks at product innovation as a key route to sustainability success. ‘Trivselhus by Esh’ is a partnership with Swedish firm Sodra – bringing all that’s great about sustainable house building in Scandinavian design to the UK.
The homes are product innovation at its best, with many people who want to live an environmentally responsible lifestyle, moving across the country just to live in a Trivselhus.
They are fabricated off-site to the highest sustainability values, using insulation and levels of air tightness to create very thermally efficient homes with incredibly low energy costs compared to traditional build.
Simon said: “They use underfloor heating with air source heat pumps, coupled with ventilation that retains heat but filters the air to improve the atmosphere – making them great for people with asthma for example.”
Another way Esh Group practises the environmental responsibility so many people preach is via its commitment to environmental protection.
This is about protecting the environments in which we work – making sure we do nothing to the detriment of the existing environment.- Simon Park
“For example everyone who has come across it will know the perils of Japanese knotweed – if not correctly treated it spreads like wildfire and given time can eat through the foundations of a building,” said Simon.
“Through our joint venture partnership for Northumbrian Water Esh-MWH we were installing a huge tank at a site near Chester Le Street to store excess water and then release it slowly to minimise the risk of flooding.
“But we found the site was infested with Japanese knotweed. By working with AJT Environmental Consultants and following strict protocols we ensured it wasn’t spread.
“This involved everything from covering the contaminated soil with a membrane, to cleaning all plant and machinery – and our boots – before leaving the site. Northumbrian Water will also treat the area with herbicide for several years.
“We have scores of examples and these are just a few – and that’s because we believe that by looking at sustainable design, product innovation and environmental protection we can make huge savings in time, costs – and help reduce our impact on the planet’s natural resources,” added Simon.