Planet and property: Thinking green when it comes to Build to Rent

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Planet and property: Thinking green when it comes to Build to Rent

News : Housing Management and Maintenance

•  Atlas Residential takes strong environmental approach to Build to Rent
•  Greener living enabled at Bow Square, Southampton
•  Atlas’ commitment to Plastic Free July encouraging green thinking

Highly regarded Build to Rent operator Atlas Residential is pushing for the private rented sector to lead the way in terms of its green credentials, making sure that both planet and property are preserved for generations to come.

Jonathon Ivory, Managing Director, Atlas Residential said,

“It’s important for those spearheading any new sector to set standards that others can aspire to. That’s why Atlas Residential, together with our building owners, is firmly focused on how we can ensure that our Build to Rent homes are as respectful of the planet as possible. It’s about setting the scene for a joined up approach, with the future firmly in mind.”

This ethos can be seen in action at Bow Square, Southampton. The building, owned by Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP (“Rockspring”), a PATRIZIA company and professionally managed by Atlas Residential, has been purpose-built for renters, offering bright, spacious apartments alongside a host of premium lifestyle amenities, from communal outdoor spaces to a resident lounge, yoga suite, gym and on-site management team.

From a build perspective, Bow Square has incorporated a variety of environmentally friendly features. Photovoltaic panels on the roof supply common areas with electricity. The communal courtyard is planted with bee-friendly plants, with varieties of lavender and rosemary, sedum roofs and insect towers. Tree planting has also taken place along Queensway to enhance the area and provide shade while also adding vital greenery to the site.

Shower facilities have been provided to encourage the team to cycle to work and they can also use the new on-site gym to keep fit. A variety of green credentials were incorporated into the design, procurement, construction process and employment and training of local community members.

Then there is the lifestyle perspective, with Atlas Residential encouraging and enabling residents to live greener lives. Atlas issues residents with complimentary canvas bags when they move in, for example, to reduce the need for plastic carrier bags. The Bow Square-branded bags are both sturdy and stylish, to encourage long-term use. The development also provides extensive cycle storage to enable residents to securely use greener forms of transport, including YoBikes which are located on site for those who do not have a bike. Phase II alone has 106 bicycle storage racks.

Efforts are also in place to encourage residents to recycle. Recycling facilities are available throughout the community, with designated containers available for sorting waste streams. The company also celebrates initiatives such as Plastic Free July, to show how simple lifestyle changes can make a difference at a global level.

Quentin Keeble, Development Manager, Atlas Residential said:

“Buildings produce something like 60% of the waste to landfill. As a business and building operator we have a responsibility not just to control our own waste but also to try to influence our residents to improve their habits.

“Plastic Free July is a fantastic concept, asking people to change their habits for a month and hopefully a lifetime. We have embraced it as a business because we are concerned for the compromised world our children will inherit. The time for change is upon all of us, now.

“As Barack Obama said: ‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person.’”

Plastic Free July aims to reduce or completely exclude the use of single use plastic. As well as providing residents with reusable bags, Atlas Residential is encouraging them to engage with coffee shops’ ‘bring your own cup’ offers, which often offer a discount for those not taking single use cups, and to say no to straws in coffee shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants. Plastic coffee lids are also out, while reusable drinks bottles are in. The idea is to encourage Bow Square residents to make small, simple changes for the whole of July, with the hope that those changes will go on to last a lifetime.

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