Deliver high quality homes with low environmental impact where people aspire to live.
Building high quality and well-designed homes is fundamental to our business; it is demanded of us by our customers and differentiates Berkeley. Attention to detail in design is paramount to ensure homes meet the needs of our customers and our specifications are planned to meet the varied requirements of all types of homebuyers.
The impact on the environment throughout the lifetime of the home is considered during its design, with an aim to minimise impacts and provide homeowners with the opportunity to live healthy, sustainable lifestyles.
The high quality finish which we demand in our new homes requires a skilled workforce and thorough checks before handover, and we continually undertake research and development to evolve the design of our homes and encourage innovation at every stage of design and construction.
On 1 May 2018 we launched two new ambitious headline commitments to deliver by April 2020, along with other commitments as outlined below.
Launch a design framework to contribute to the wellbeing of our customers, including safety, air quality and thermal comfort.
People spend around two thirds of their time in their home and research shows that sustainable, well-designed homes lead to better health and wellbeing of residents.
Through our new commitment for 2018-2020, we seek to create a Berkeley Group safe and healthy homes design framework, which could cover a range of issues including noise, air quality, overheating, materials, daylighting, storage and security. Once in place, we intend for this framework to be applied to every new site.
Produce a transition plan for each new development which enables the homes to operate at net zero carbon by 2030.
Whilst government policy has moved away from the zero carbon homes agenda, the Mayor of London and the UK Green Building Council continue to promote it. Research has shown that currently there is uncertainty about the right technology solution for our homes to operate at net zero carbon in the long term.
Through this commitment, we will research how our developments can be resilient to future changes in low carbon technology to ensure that the right infrastructure is delivered. This will help us to ensure that energy strategies for new developments from May 2019 identify clear routes to enable them to achieve zero operational emissions in the future. This will be achieved through developing Low Carbon Transition Plans for developments.
During 1 May 2016 - 30 April 2018, we had headline commitments focusing on thermal comfort and smart homes.
Design our homes to consider future climate change to ensure continued thermal comfort.
The potential for overheating in new homes has become a growing issue for the industry as standards for energy efficiency and air tightness have increased. We want to ensure the thermal comfort of our customers now and in the future with expected changes in climate.
During 2017 we developed a thermal comfort risk assessment tool based on existing industry research and feedback from our own staff and external experts on the subject. The tool, which we now use on all new sites, takes into account factors which can affect overheating, such as location, building type and ventilation strategies. It then highlights site-specific risks and suggested actions to reduce these.
Understand the evolution of smart technology and connectivity in homes and on developments.
We are increasingly living in a connected world, with our customers expecting access to the internet and good connectivity from the first day they move in. This commitment has helped us to explore infrastructure and technology and ensure we continue to meet our customers' requirements.
In 2017 we developed new minimum infrastructure recommendations for all new sites. This enables customers to benefit from the freedom of being able to 'plug in' technologies that they wish as they become available. This would not be possible without working in close collaboration with Openreach and we were delighted to be awarded the Openreach Property Developers Award 2017 for Innovation - Most Supportive Trialist.
We also continue to investigate emerging smart technologies which our customers may like to be included in their home.
To find out more about our previous commitments and our achievements against each, please see the Our Vision Performance Update 2017 and the Homes Performance Report 2014-2016. Note that a summary of our 2016-2018 performance is included in the Berkeley Group's 2018 Annual Report, with more detail to follow on our website later this year.