Background to the Project

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Sustainable Construction: Practical Guidance for Planners and Developers

DTI Partners in Innovation

The project and the plan

Property Surveyorsproperty

Audience and scope

Plumbing Services in London


Main activities


Project partners

DTI Partners in Innovation

The Department for Trade and Industry Partners in Innovation research programme was a collaborative scheme where Government funded up to 50% of the costs of successful projects. The scheme is now closed for applications but there is a residual commitment to be spent over the next three years. The programme aimed to demonstrate and develop new & innovative technologies that can contribute to sustainable practice, or support projects that develop the tools & understanding necessary to make sustainability more pervasive. This project received 50% funding from the programme and our thanks go to the DTI for providing the opportunity for this project to take place.

All future construction research will be funded through the new DTI Business Support Products including the SME focussed Grant for Research and Development, The Grant for Collaborative Research and Development and Knowledge Transfer Networks. Further details can be found at

The Project

The project was initiated on the basis that planners, RDAs and local authorities are increasingly being tasked with delivering and implementing national and regional sustainable development strategies in relation to new development and regeneration of existing areas. In turn developers are increasingly being asked to address sustainable design and construction in the schemes they provide but there is currently little clear guidance and agreement on what this specifically entails and what is practical or reasonable to deliver within current economic frameworks.

The main aim of the project was to bring together those tasked with promoting and controlling development and those who deliver development, and come up with a practical set of measures that could be requested and delivered on different types of sites. We also explored the mechanisms available to ensure the measures are adopted in future development and produced training for planners, RDAs, local authorities and developers on the measures they should be promoting/adopting and the actions they can take to make sure they are implemented.

Audience and Scope

• Planners in local authorities and regional development agencies
• Developers (both commercial and housing)

The project focused on the development of buildings and settlements that are controlled or influenced by RDAs or local authority planners and which involve a developer(s) to deliver.

The measures considered for addressing sustainable development will cover some of the environmental and social impacts associated with the design and construction of buildings and their related infrastructure. The measures will tend to be limited to those that are practical to cost on an individual basis.


• Provide a clear understanding of the intervention points and leverage mechanisms that will enable the measures identified to be included in future development.
• Provide a clear understanding of the priorities of planners, RDAs and developers in delivering development.
• Review and agree those measures that can be taken on by developers in the planning, design and construction of developments to better promote Sustainable Development and which are practical to deliver within current economic frameworks (these may differ by region).
• Make point of steps that can be taken to improve planning within the construction industry e.g. getting quotes from suppliers at earlier dates, keep construction zones clear by employing regular rubbish clearance services, report on all steps taken and note who was part of each communication.
• Develop training and guidance for RDAs, planners and developers on the measures identified including their costs and benefits and the mechanism for promoting their delivery.

Main activities

• First workshops entitled ‘Understanding your agenda’ were carried out in Autumn 2003 providing an opportunity for participants to meet other planners and developers in an informal venue to engage in a discussion about achieving consensus in sustainable development. The aim was to understand the agenda, constraints and opportunities for all relating to the delivery of more sustainable developments. Current mechanisms for promoting such developments were discussed, mainly relating to the planning process.
• Identification of the costs and benefits of sustainable development measures to be used as a tool by planners and developers in the identification of realistic ambitions for development sites.
• Second workshops entitled ‘Towards consensus – agreeing reasonable and achievable measures’ were carried out in Spring 2004 to provide an opportunity to discuss packages of measures developed and the best method of disseminating the project outputs through training.
• Development of training packages (CD-Rom and web-based) that can be used by the target audiences on completion of the project. This website contains the training material.
• Running of 3 regional training days for partner organisations and other invitees held Autumn 2004.


The project demonstrated the value that can be gained from planners and developers from the same region sitting down and talking about the issues surrounding sustainable design and construction, not specific to a particular scheme.

Feedback from the workshops and the training was very positive. Participants found the sessions very useful, both because of the relevance of the material covered and because of the interaction and informal dialogue between the different disciplines.


Key funder





Lead Partner and project co-ordinator


Claire Bonham-Carter
Sustainable Development Group
T: 020 7601 1659
F: 020 7601 1666

The Sustainable Development Group (SDG) at FaberMaunsell has a long history of promoting sustainable development and assisting in the development of buildings and communities with greatly reduced impacts on the environment. FaberMaunsell Sustainable Development Group is dedicated to providing sustainability advice to the construction industry. For more than twenty years our specialist team of consultants have been working with design teams, developers, clients and the Government to find practical, cost effective means of improving the environmental performance of developments and individual buildings.









Please note this project is closed and this site is simply an archive for informational purposes only