With around 40 per cent of homes built before 1946, the UK has the oldest housing stock in Europe.1 Older unaltered properties can be significantly less energy-efficient than newer-built homes, have higher carbon emissions and carry greater cost implications for households.2 Meanwhile, there are only 88,100 purpose-built and managed private rental apartments operating across the UK.3 Most of these are in England, where they represent less than two per cent of its 4.6 million private rental housing stock.4 The imbalance between demand and supply, paired with the need to decarbonise homes in order to achieve the UK Government’s commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, presents an opportunity to deliver new, high-quality rental housing communities with a focus on energy-efficiency.
Recognising the need to create more sustainable homes, Macquarie Asset Management (MAM) established Goodstone Living, a UK-based specialist residential investment manager and developer, in 2020. The company has almost 900 high quality homes under construction - 338 in Edinburgh and 550 in Birmingham - as well as a significant pipeline of development and turnkey opportunities in London and key regional cities. To reduce emissions in both the construction and operation of its residential buildings, Goodstone Living is adopting a ‘whole life’ carbon approach to its building design, development and operation.5
During construction, Goodstone Living is targeting at least a 30 per cent reduction6 in embodied carbon – the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture, transportation, installation, maintenance and disposal of building materials – across all its controlled projects.7 Reducing embodied carbon is particularly challenging and requires an innovative approach along the developer’s supply chain. On each of its projects, Goodstone Living carries out whole life carbon assessments to optimise design and materials to meet its carbon reduction targets.
As an example, Goodstone Living is reducing embodied carbon on its Smith’s Gardens project in Birmingham by using modular construction methods where manufacturing occurs offsite. This approach helps to reduce the movement of heavy-duty vehicles and onsite energy usage during construction. Additionally, material waste is minimised through improved accuracy and efficiency of the calculations used in prefabricated design and manufacture. Alongside modular construction methods, Goodstone Living is adopting the use of materials with a lower carbon footprint made from recycled aluminium and cement substitutes.
Goodstone Living is also targeting at least a 50 per cent reduction in operational carbon8 against current UK building regulations,9 across its controlled projects. The developer plans on achieving this by investing in energy-efficient solutions and onsite renewable energy generation. For example, Goodstone Living’s Dockside project in Edinburgh is designed to be fully electrified, with air source heat pumps in each apartment. Drawing air from outside, the pumps will be powered by renewable electricity, instead of traditional gas boilers. These homes will also be fitted with low-energy lighting and solar panels will be installed to produce clean energy for residents. Electric vehicle charging facilities will also be available in all parking bays.
Goodstone Living’s ambitious carbon reduction targets have been a catalyst to find innovative ways to make its rental homes more sustainable. Its whole team is behind this effort – sourcing lower-carbon materials, increasing recycled content, exploring alternative design techniques and investing in energy-efficient solutions.”
Senior Vice President, Real Estate
Macquarie Asset Management