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How Pexhurst is Investing in our planet with Planet Mark

How Pexhurst is Investing in our planet with Planet Mark

Every April 22nd, stakeholders of all backgrounds come together to advance sustainability and climate action in commemoration of Earth Day. The construction sector is unfortunately one of the largest contributors to waste and is responsible for nearly 40% of global carbon emissions, making sustainability a high priority for the industry.

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PEXHURST PROVIDES SUSTAINABLE FIT-OUT TO BESTOBELL ROAD WAREHOUSE

Fit-out specialist Pexhurst is currently refurbishing a spacious industrial unit for SEGRO, the leading UK Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). The project involves the fit-out of an existing warehouse located at 160-161 Bestobell Road, Slough and is set for completion in September 2022. The warehouse is conveniently situated on the

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

pexhurst

The Importance of Early Collaboration when Implementing BREEAM to Retrofitting Schemes

The Importance of Early Collaboration when Implementing BREEAM to Retrofitting Schemes

In recent years, sustainability has become an increasingly important focus for any building development, whether a refurbishment or a new build. The introduction of BREEAM quality standards has only enhanced this even further. Having worked on a myriad of construction sites, Pexhurst’s Contracts/Commercial Manager Dan Beadle identifies the importance of early collaboration between architects, the client and our supply chain of sub-contractors. Additionally, he reveals the environmental, social, and economic impacts that retrofitting with BREEAM in mind can have. Although incredibly important during retrofitting projects, where new energy efficient systems are fitted in buildings previously built without them, BREEAM sustainability targets are difficult to achieve, but no doubt a worthwhile endeavour. BREEAM assessments use recognised measures of performance that are set against established benchmarks to evaluate a building’s specification, design, construction and use. These measures represent a comprehensive range of categories and criteria, including ecology and energy. Each of these categories focus on the most influential factors, including low impact design, ecological value, reduced carbon emissions, biodiversity protection and adaptation to climate change. Indeed, studies by Holmes and Hudson in 2002 revealed that the objective of achieving an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating can significantly influence the original design of a building and the changes made to the design, including ventilation design, water services, materials and the design of the building itself. With that in mind, working closely with designers, architects and sub-contractors at a very early stage in the retrofitting project is absolutely crucial. Doing so and integrating sustainability measures at this early stage can help to enable increases in asset value, building user experience, risk mitigation, and reduced life cycle costs. Setting objectives and thinking ahead makes a huge difference With BREEAM relatively new to the retrofitting sector, identifying and researching material that will be specifically helpful in meeting and exceeding sustainability targets is crucial. Furthermore, as Mark Farmer[1] once explained, “collaboration prevents itself scaling up, sharing risk more appropriately and creating better business plan certainty.” When it comes to building design and sustainability, two heads are definitely better than one. Indeed, more considerate planning and collaboration is likely to help future building projects deliver holistically sustainable BREEAM buildings. With this in mind, it’s important the industry shifts its mind-set towards incorporating the framework into new projects from the very beginning of the design process. Additionally, collaborative working at the start can also prevent projects incurring further costs, which can often happen when BREEAM is incorporated much later into the project. Similarly, by not commencing any BREEAM requirements at an early stage of the project, there is an increasing likelihood the project won’t finish on time. Increasing the longevity of the building As well as having an improved environmental impact, the successful implementation of BREEAM on a retrofitting project can also enhance the longevity of a building. Often, implementing BREEAM targets can enhance the project quality by reducing defects and enforcing the need for strict commissioning procedures. Compared to the same refurbishment without a similar scheme in place, this provides a better and more valuable property for the client. It also highlights the importance of making collaborative decisions during the design and construction phases and how doing so can have far-reaching impacts on the building’s overall lifespan. This can include anything from resultant emissions through to resource consumption. While studies have revealed that build costs are typically increased by 1% if BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ grades are to be achieved, long-term retrofitting of a building can actually decrease the building’s operating cost. So, while in the short-term it is a more expensive construction process, the longer-term financial benefits typically outweigh this. Additionally, BREEAM does not currently provide a holistic approach to sustainability, nor a full life-cycle assessment, so consideration must be paid to this when working on the design of any building that has sustainability in mind. Operating with the environment in mind The Government’s Carbon Net Zero Guidance Note reveals that around 40% of UK carbon emissions are linked to the built environment. Furthermore, the construction industry generates 32% of all waste sent to landfill. As a result, the environmental assessment of buildings has increasingly become a major focus of the sustainable built environment.   BREEAM evaluates environmental performance across a myriad of different categories, including health and well-being, land use and ecology, energy, management, and pollution. Additionally, BREEAM standards help to provide a meaningful and evolving pathway towards ecological protection, recovery and mitigation. There is also a strong incentivisation to reduce carbon emission, with flexible and achievable benchmarks relating to operational and embodied performance. This is especially important given the fact that embodied carbon, emissions created during the manufacture of building materials and construction practices, accounts for approximately 22% of all emissions in a new development. With these targets in mind, retrofitting projects can typically incorporate measures and focus on building fabric improvements and upgrading services with modern technologies and materials. For example, insulation can be enhanced, carbon-burning appliances can be replaced with air-source heat pumps and energy efficient features such as rainwater harvesting systems, photovoltaic panels, zonal heating and lighting controls and LED lighting can be integrated.   Better occupant health and wellbeing Buildings with BREEAM certification are designed and constructed to high environmental performance standards, meaning they’re likely to have better air quality, use safer materials for human health, and have other features that can boost occupants’ wellbeing. This is supported by a BREEAM survey, which revealed that 59% of respondents reported an ‘improved occupant satisfaction’ as a benefit of having completed a BREEAM assessment during their project.  Additionally, BREEAM certified buildings are designed to use less energy for lighting, heating, and cooling, resulting in lower energy bills for the occupants and significant savings over the long term. In summary Overall, with sustainability demands constantly changing and evolving, the need to outline the plans and methods for meeting the desired BREEAM score into retrofitting projects, ideally before works start, is becoming increasingly more important, as is close collaboration with the project team. As a sustainability-focused company, Pexhurst

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Pexhurst Sponsor the East & North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity’s Therapy Ponies Programme

Pexhurst Sponsor the East & North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity’s Therapy Ponies Programme

For those spending a significant time in hospital, it can often be a challenging and stressful time. With that in mind, improving patient wellbeing is an incredibly important task, one that the East & North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity takes very seriously. Pexhurst is proud to announce that it has teamed up with four local companies to form the ‘Pony Club’ to sponsor this highly rewarding and uplifting new patient experience programme. As part of our sponsorship, we help to fund therapy pony visits every three weeks to Lister Hospital in Stevenage throughout 2024. Bringing real joy and putting smiles on the faces of patients and staff alike, the charity’s therapy ponies programme enables patients to receive visits from three adorable therapy ponies, named Charlie, Pickles, and Romeo. These charity-funded visits have been organised by patient experience project co-ordinator Jane Shaw, who highlighted the uplifting benefits for the patients, staff and visitors. She said: “We have had such an incredible response to having the ponies visit us. The surprise and delight on peoples’ faces is so amazing. “Visitors also enjoy the visits – for many it is a welcome opportunity to make a positive memory while their loved one is in hospital.” Stuart Byles, director at Pexhurst commented: “As a business, we are always keen to raise funds for causes which we believe benefit local people in Hertfordshire. After hearing about the wonderful work the charity does and especially the benefits the ponies bring to the patients, we wanted to help in whatever way we could. Such a simple but effective way of brightening up people’s days.” If you would like to donate to the charity and help fund these thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting therapy pony visits, go to www.enhhcharity.org.uk/ponies Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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How Pexhurst is Investing in our planet with Planet Mark

How Pexhurst is Investing in our planet with Planet Mark

Every April 22nd, stakeholders of all backgrounds come together to advance sustainability and climate action in commemoration of Earth Day. The construction sector is unfortunately one of the largest contributors to waste and is responsible for nearly 40% of global carbon emissions, making sustainability a high priority for the industry. Fit-out and refurbishment contractor Pexhurst reflects on the importance of proactive sustainability across the built environment and discusses the benefits of being Planet Mark certified with Steve Malkin, CEO and Founder of Planet Mark and Giuseppe Lo Bue, Buyer at Pexhurst. As a provider of professional fit-out and refurbishment services to the industrial, commercial and specialist sectors, Pexhurst is dedicated to minimising the environmental impact of its business operations, reducing waste and investing in green technologies. One way Pexhurst does this is through its association with sustainability certification Planet Mark. CEO and Founder Steve Malkin began Planet Mark as a truly effective people-driven sustainability certification for any organisation of any size in any sector, anywhere in the world. As of March 2023, Planet Mark works with circa 700 different organisations across a broad spectrum of industries. Planet Mark is an internationally recognised sustainability certification which recognises continuous progress, encourages action, and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals who make a world of difference. In 2023, Planet Mark is proud to be celebrating its 10-year anniversary of helping organisations cut carbon year-on-year and have a positive impact on society for current and future generations. Commenting, Steve Malkin said, “The next 7 years, as we edge towards the Paris Agreement’s checkpoint of 2030, are pivotal to the success of a more sustainable future. Organisations like Planet Mark, who certify not just on measurement but on continuous improvement, are integral in the drive towards a net zero society. At Planet Mark, we often say – ‘You can’t manage what you don’t measure.’” The theme for Earth Day 2023 is ‘Invest in our Planet’. Planet Mark encourages businesses to begin assessing their carbon footprints as a first step to investing in the planet. Holders of Planet Mark Certification deliver results that go beyond data compliance, reaching new levels of sustainability and engaging their people in the process. Steve Malkin reflected, “We’ve seen that smart, forward-planning companies are discovering that it is no longer a choice between going green and growing long-term profits. They are inextricably linked. Collectively, organisations like Pexhurst are helping to shape a brighter future for our planet and society. Regardless of size or sector, businesses are at the heart of our transition to a more sustainable future. Transformational change, however, won’t happen until we all work together to invest in our planet.” He continued, “This Earth Day we are calling on every organisation to do one thing: cut your carbon emissions so you can invest in both the planet and your business. Not only will you be saving money, your people will also enjoy the challenge and you’ll be joining millions around the world who are tackling climate change.” How Pexhurst are going the extra mile for the planet After compiling all their data for the specific reporting period, Pexhurst proudly received their certification in October 2022, and continues to report their social and carbon data. Giuseppe Lo Bue, Buyer at Pexhurst, discusses the significance of his role as Planet Mark champion at Pexhurst. What does your role as Planet Mark Champion entail? “My role as Pexhurst’s Planet Mark Champion is to report our carbon and social data. This is vital as it gives us a starting point every year on how we can further reduce our carbon footprint. With help and suggestions from Planet Mark, we are achieving this. I collate Pexhurst’s data every year using documentation such as utility bills, fleet, and waste and submit this to Planet Mark. Planet Mark then assesses this information and certifies us for another year if we have achieved the standards. Another part of this role is continually finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint.” Why was Pexhurst inspired to gain its Planet Mark certification? “When you see a company with this certification it shows that they are committed to reducing their carbon footprint. Pexhurst is a sustainable and forward-thinking business, making this an important accreditation for us to achieve. We want to demonstrate to all of our existing and potential clients that we are committed to the betterment of our planet.” What initiatives does Pexhurst practise to create a more sustainable and equitable world? “As well as environmental impact, the social value side of sustainability is important to Pexhurst. Therefore, we believe measuring our positive influence on the economy, communities and society is imperative. We have apprenticeship schemes here at Pexhurst to encourage future generations to join the industry, where they can gain great experience and develop professionally and personally.  Along with the apprenticeship schemes, we fundraised in excess of £16,000 for various charities last year which was a great achievement to all those involved!” In summary, why does sustainability matter to Pexhurst? “From energy usage to emissions, the construction industry is having a big impact on the environment. This is why it’s important, as a company, to do our bit to improve the quality of our lives, our children’s lives and the lives of future generations. By doing what we can, we will be contributing to a better world. Our ambition is to reduce our carbon footprint by 5% this year, and to be Net Zero by 2030.” Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals 

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PEXHURST PROVIDES SUSTAINABLE FIT-OUT TO BESTOBELL ROAD WAREHOUSE

Fit-out specialist Pexhurst is currently refurbishing a spacious industrial unit for SEGRO, the leading UK Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). The project involves the fit-out of an existing warehouse located at 160-161 Bestobell Road, Slough and is set for completion in September 2022. The warehouse is conveniently situated on the popular Slough Trading Estate in close proximity to a number of local amenities and transport links.  Built in 1988, the single-storey unit stands at an expansive 20,120 ft2 and is in need of modernisation. The client’s ambition is to transform the 34-year-old unit into a state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable industrial and warehouse space. Pexhurst were commissioned by SEGRO for the project, working alongside Hollis as the contract administration and project manager. This is an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) focussed scheme, with a net-zero carbon operation targeting BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and EPC ‘A+’ standards. Pexhurst was the contractor of choice, due to their experience on fit-outs of this calibre. The project required many sustainable initiatives designed to combat air pollution, reduce water wastage and improve energy efficiency. The most distinctive detail on this project is the living green wall on the warehouse’s exterior; providing not only an aesthetically pleasing attribute, but measurable sustainability impacts. The living green wall will significantly increase air quality, producing 94kg of oxygen and extracting 71kg of carbon dioxide per year. In addition to this, Pexhurst are also installing EV chargers and cycle shelters to the exterior, promoting sustainable travel. The bike sheds will also feature green roofs. Additionally, Pexhurst has installed 136 kWp of photovoltaics onto the roof, which is designed to save 26 tonnes of CO2 annually (equivalent to planting over 1,200 trees per year). The team are also installing energy efficient LED light fittings with PIR sensors and daylight sensors. With regards to improving air quality, Pexhurst are installing air source heat pumps, fresh air ventilation and carbon dioxide sensors to reduce energy consumption. The design is also water efficient, entailing waterless urinals, self-closing push taps and dual flush WC cisterns. Moreover, all carpets used in the space are carbon neutral. Pexhurst have participated in the ReEntry scheme whereby old carpet tiles from site were reused, repurposed or recycled and donated to local businesses and charities, ensuring that nothing goes to landfill. Pexhurst are also providing planting and nesting boxes for birds and bats, ensuring that local wildlife is suitably accommodated for. Pexhurst are enthusiastic with their progress on this project, as they are on track to hit their BREEAM ‘Excellent’ target, accounting for only the top 10% of refurbishment or fit-out projects in the UK. However, the extensive sustainability measures implemented by Pexhurst on the fit-out suggest that the project may even achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ grade, which accounts for less than the top 1% of the UK’s refurbishment or fit-out projects. Pexhurst’s experience is proving invaluable on this sustainable warehouse fit-out project. The contractor’s skill is ensuring that a decades-old warehouse is modernised and fit for use  and is contributing to a healthier ecosystem.

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