CBRE-owned Build to Rent specialist says it has reduced embodied carbon on its schemes by 10%

Build to rent specialist housebuilder Telford Homes has issued a call for concerted industry action to tackle embodied carbon in construction of new build homes.

The formerly listed developer, which is owned by US-based CBRE subsidiary Trammell Crow, said in its annual sustainability report that it had reduced the “embodied carbon” intensity of its homes – the amount of carbon contained in the production of the materials used to build the homes – by 10% since 2019.

However, Anne Kavanagh, chief executive of the £300m turnover firm, which was last year ranked the most sustainable UK housebuilder by the NextGeneration report, said it wanted to be able to “move together with the industry” to tackle the issue of whole life carbon – which requires a detailed understanding of embodied carbon in construction materials.

Telford said in a statement that current building regulations focused only on the operational carbon emissions from homes, ignoring entirely the issue of embodied carbon in materials. Telford itself carries out whole life carbon assessments on its new schemes and requires its supply chain partners provide Environmental Product Declarations to ensure they are choosing lower carbon products.

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Anne Kavanagh Telford Homes

Anne Kavanagh, Telford Homes chief executive

Anne Kavanagh, Telford chief executive, said: “Smart capital will increasingly focus on only sustainable assets. We’re taking steps to address embodied carbon in our developments and believe that to truly make progress we need to move together with the industry to tackle challenges through accurately monitoring and forecasting data through whole life carbon assessments.

“We continue to collaborate with peers through the Future Homes Hub and support Part Z of the Future Homes Standard. We are eager and willing to work with our counterparts in developers and housebuilders across the UK, and urge everyone to share best practices so we can have an honest conversation about developments’ whole life carbon impact.”

Telford said it had managed to reduced embodied carbon by 10% in calendar year 2022 on its benchmark 2019 level, and had achieved a 41% reduction in on-site carbon emissions – up from 23.6% last year.

It added that 99% of waste was being diverted from landfill, and all its schemes were now using low-carbon or renewable technologies.