Developing new energy-efficient rental homes across the UK

Goodstone Living is taking a long-term approach to help address the shortage of quality, energy-efficient rental homes across London and key regional cities in the UK.

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Sector Infrastructure
Sub-sector Real estate
Location United Kingdom


The UK has a significant shortage of quality, energy-efficient homes.

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


Goodstone Living is tackling embodied carbon- through low-carbon construction materials and reducing operational carbon by investing in energy-efficient heat sources and on-site renewable energy generation. 

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.


Across its two current developments in the UK, Goodstone Living now has almost 900 new energy efficient homes under construction.

To date, both projects are forecast to meet or exceed their decarbonisation targets for both embodied and operational carbon. 

Both its Birmingham Smith’s Gardens and its Edinburgh Dockside schemes are forecasting a 30 per cent reduction in embodied carbon and a 50 per cent reduction in operational carbon against their baseline measures.10

Furthermore, Goodstone Living is developing partnerships with leading contractors that will help the developer apply lessons learned to future projects. Goodstone Living has also entered regulated energy procurement contracts, providing certainty in securing renewable energy supply across its projects.

50 per cent reduction

target for operational carbon8

30 per cent reduction

target for embodied carbon11

Goodstone Living’s Birmingham project

is the largest modular build-to-rent residential community in the UK12

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.”

James Bechely-Crundall
Senior Vice President, Real Estate
Macquarie Asset Management

  1. Simon Nicol, Mike Roys, David Ormandy et al, The cost of poor housing in the European Union, British Research Establishment,  
  2. Office for National Statistics, Age of the property is the biggest single factor in energy efficiency of UK homes, January 2022,
  3. Build to Rent Quarterly, British Property Foundation, Q2 2023,  
  4. In 2021-22 there were approximately 4.6 million households within the English private rented sector, UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, National Statistics, English Housing Survey 2021 to 2022, Private Rented Sector
  5. A whole life carbon approach identifies the best combined opportunities for reducing the lifetime emissions of a building, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Professional Standards and Guidance, UK Whole life carbon assessment for the built environment 1st edition, November 2017,
  6. Measured against the 2025 benchmark of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge – Version 2, 2021
  7. Goodstone Living’s controlled projects are those where it controls the design, building specification and procurement involved.
  8. Operational carbon refers to the total from all energy sources used to keep buildings warm, cool, ventilated, lighted and powered.
  9. The conservation of fuel and power, approved Document L, last updated February 2023
  10. Progress against these targets is independently assessed and measured by the design and engineering firm Aecom.
  11. Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture, transportation, installation, maintenance and disposal of building materials.
  12. Bea Patel, Goodstone secures financing for Smith’s Gardens BTR, Build to Rent News, 25 July 2023, Build to Rent,

Macquarie Asset Management FY23 Sustainability Report

At Macquarie Asset Management, we view sustainability as part of our fiduciary duty to protect and grow our clients’ assets. This focus also helps us generate positive outcomes for our investee companies and the communities they serve. Our latest Sustainability Report outlines the progress we have made over the past financial year.