NDY sets green targets for Ask

Manchester-based building consultant Norman Disney & Young has written a 'green' manifesto for Ask Developments to ensure its development programme is as environmentally sustainable as possible.

Ask has a future pipeline of schemes on 500 acres of brownfield land in seven of the 10 Greater Manchester districts. Current major mixed-use schemes include First Street in Manchester, Greengate in Salford and St Petersfield in Ashton.

NDY produced Creating Sustainable Places for Ask with Jones Lang LaSalle and Prof David Auckland, director of the One Central Park science campus in Manchester, to lay out "Ask's commitment to sustainability across every part of the development process".

The strategy sets targets for Ask to achieve including a doubling of reduction of water consumption and waste to landfill and an even greater reduction of carbon emissions from a current 20% reduction over 2006 Part L to 50% below regulatory levels in the future. Targets are also set for biodiversity, employment and training, BREEAM and Energy Performance Rating Certificates.

The year-long job will continue with the secondment of NDY's Jeya Jeyabalasingam to Ask to help deliver the strategy.

Darrel Williams, director of NDY's Manchester office comments: "Our role with Ask has been extremely satisfying on a number of fronts; both from the technical and intellectual challenges of integrating a sustainable strategy into a large developer's business and ensuring that it is integrated into all aspects of its delivery and, together with Ask, taking a leadership role in delivering sustainable developments."

Ken Knott, chief executive of Ask, added: "It is to state the obvious that sustainability represents the single biggest challenge facing our communities in the 21st Century. Less obvious however is how we in the development industry should respond to that challenge, bearing in mind the scale and complexity of the issue.

"To inform an appropriate response, I established some 12 months ago the Ask Sustainability Forum to evolve a clear and decisive policy for the company – one that is measured, considered and capable of being benchmarked.

"Creating Sustainable Places does that clearly and in detail. It is easy to talk the language of sustainability and many developers do just that, without employing a rigorous approach through all they do.

"We believe we are driving the agenda in setting out both policies and ambitious targets, and believe this gives credibility to our stated principles, and confident to our partners, suppliers and occupiers that we will deliver in practice."

The strategy details 12 key elements of sustainable development activity which Ask pledges to deliver in areas dubbed planet, place and people covering:

  • Carbon emissions
  • Pollution
  • Water
  • Biodiversity
  • Design quality
  • Working with communities
  • Creating healthier communities
  • Creating quality indoor environments
  • Partnering
  • Lifestyle
  • Employment, training and safety

The policies cover the whole development process and range:

  • Encouraging the use of public transport among staff, suppliers and eventual occupiers
  • Designing natural light and ventilation into buildings
  • Protecting and enhancing local ecologies
  • Harvesting rainwater for re-use
  • On-site waste compositing
  • Minimising a host of negative development by-products including landfill waste and noise, water and air pollution

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