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UKGBC publishes Social Value guidance for local authorities

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has released its latest guidance document, detailing how local authorities can help ensure that new construction and property development in their area positively impacts people and communities by delivering social value.

‘Driving social value in new development: Options for local authorities’ is a comprehensive set of recommendations for local authorities, based on research and consultation with local government, businesses and not-for-profit experts. It is a detailed exploration of the policy mechanisms that can be used by local authorities to specify and ensure social value outcomes. Such outcomes include jobs and economic growth, health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability and strength of community.

John Alker, Director of Policy and Places at UKGBC said: “Ever since Government introduced the Social Value Act a few years ago, this topic has been rising up the agenda of both local authorities and private sector. However, there is still a long way to go before we fully grasp the opportunities presented by the concept, particularly in relation to development and regeneration.

“With the acute funding pressures faced by local authorities, as well as the growing interest in social impact investing and socially responsible business, there are strong drivers for public and private sector to work together to maximise the benefits from new development to local communities.”

The guidance covers the use of social value requirements in:

  • Local government procurement that relates to new development
  • Local planning policy
  • The disposal of local authority land

The document is available in UKGBC’s popular presentation resource format which allows local authorities to easily incorporate the organisation’s research into their own material.

As a live resource, the guidance will be updated periodically to reflect policy changes, latest thinking and new case studies. UKGBC is welcoming approaches from local authorities and other organisations wishing to contribute to the development of this resource.

UK-GBC’s HQ refurb breaks carbon footprint record…

The UK Green Building Council‘s (UK-GBC) headquarters in Central London has achieved the lowest embodied carbon footprint ever recorded for an office refurbishment in the UK.

Working in collaboration with London-based architects, Barr Gazetas, among other organisations, the landmark project has proven to be an exemplar for sustainable office refurbishment and also features a range of innovative wellbeing measures – such as an innovative ventilation system and an automated low-energy LED lighting system – to deliver an environmentally friendly workplace.

Notable statistics collected in the aftermath of the office refurbishment are: 48 per cent decrease in carbon emissions from lighting; 139 kgCO2/m² – embodied carbon footprint 22 per cent below a comparable ‘standard’ fit-out and the lowest ever recorded in the UK (under the SCP database, WRAP database); 98 per cent of original fixtures and finishes reused or repurposed; and 99.4 per cent of construction waste diverted from landfill.

Chief executive of UK-GBC, Julie Hirigoyen said: UK-GBC’s purpose is to accelerate the transformation of places so that people and planet can thrive. In refurbishing our own office space, we had a fantastic opportunity to trial and showcase the very best solutions sourced from our membership. I’m delighted at the outstanding results we have achieved – both to minimise our environmental footprint and to improve the wellbeing and productivity of our staff.

“I’d like to thank all of our innovative product suppliers as well as our outstanding design and delivery team: architect, Barr Gazetas; services engineer and sustainability consultant, Cundall; project manager and quantity surveyor, Currie & Brown; main contractor, Morgan Lovell; and carbon consultant, Sturgis Carbon Profiling.”

The UK-GBC HQ will be subject to a ‘post-occupancy evaluation’ in order to assess its operational performance against performance factors such as energy efficiency and air quality. In addition, staff satisfaction will also be analysed through ongoing surveys, with results compared to previous data collected prior to the refurb.


To view an annotated diagram providing details of the suppliers and products used in the refurbishment, click here