Sustainability has been the word on everyone’s lips in 2019, the issue brought to our attention by wildfires across the world, ‘Fridays for Future’ and ‘Extinction Rebellion’ protests. For businesses, particularly in the energy and property sectors, environmental impact now needs to be a core consideration for every future product, development and investment they undertake.
The good news is that the sector is a hotbed for initiative and innovation. Ahead of EMEX London, we’re looking at companies transforming the built environment sector with low-impact energy, housing, and property solutions.
Based in the Netherlands, Arcadis is a global consultancy offering its services to transform the design, engineering and management of properties and urban spaces. Arcadis was founded in 1888 and after acquiring British quantity surveying firm AYH, has evolved from a land reclamation company to a global consultancy that is active in over 70 countries. Arcadis offers services from architectural design through to property management that help professionals in the built environment be more sustainable. More recently, Arcadis has been looking at how we can create liveable cities – that is, urban environments that deliver on nine key criteria people need to thrive in them. With a special focus on case studies for affordability, healthiness and resilience, it is leading developers into the future.
The London Climate Change Partnership (LCCP) aims to make London the most climate-resilient global city, by helping the capital’s people, infrastructure and systems adapt to a changing climate. Under its mission, the LCCP brings together public, private and community sector organisations to share information, raise awareness and find solutions for London to cope with extreme weather and prepare for climate change in the future. Last year, this included organising a partnership with Public Health England and the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, to establish how the NHS Long-Term Plan commitments can be linked with climate change, as excess heat has become an increasing issue in the capital.
Ecopilot is an automation and smart analysis tool that regulates the indoor climate in office buildings to improve the working environment and employee productivity. It does this by coordinating ventilation, heating and cooling systems in large buildings, ensuring that they do not work against each other as is too often the case when programmed manually. As a result, building managers will find it easier to comply with the EU’s requirements on greenhouse gas emissions. This is a huge motivator: properties currently account for 40% of Europe’s CO2 emissions. Like Greta Thunberg, Ecopilot originally hails from Sweden, where it is used by 60% of real estate owners, like office building managers, retail space suppliers and private landlords.
IES’s building analytics team, which is one of the biggest in the world, simulates and analyses property data to equip developers and property managers with the information needed to make smarter, more sustainable decisions. The company was founded in 1994 by Dr Don Mclean, who had the idea for IES when he began his PhD work in detailed computer simulation of renewable energy devices. The tools needed to make buildings more energy efficient and cut their CO2 emissions at the time were complex and only available to academics, but Dr Mclean set out to deliver a positive impact on mainstream commercial design with solutions he built himself. The principle of open data for public benefit is a core principle of IES to this day.
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