We are mindful of the impact our developments can have on the wider environment, with drainage and flood mitigation a key priority throughout the planning and construction process. We also seek to investigate ways in which we can support customers to reduce water usage in their new homes.
When a new site is identified, we assess the potential environmental impacts of the development, including the consequences for the water cycle. The risk of flooding is considered at all stages of a project, from initial design through to construction. Flood risk assessments and surveys are carried out and drainage experts are involved in site master planning. Each construction phase is planned with a view to protecting sites and their neighbours before other works begin.
Where we create new hard-standing areas, such as roads and foundations, in areas which were naturally porous, we take measures to reduce the level of run-off water. We support the use of porous paving and creating water drainage systems such as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). SuDS are drainage solutions that provide an alternative to the direct channelling of surface water through networks of pipes and sewers to nearby watercourses. By mimicking natural drainage systems, SuDS aim to reduce surface water flooding (by increasing water storage capacity), improve water quality and reduce the transfer of pollution to the water environment.
To aid our customers in their water use reduction, all Bellway new homes incorporate reduced water use measures. Some of these measures include dual flush lavatories which use one third less water, low overflow devices on baths, kitchen tap flow reduction devices and aerating water in showers. In some cases we incorporate water efficient considerations into the design, such as the use of grey water recycling (water diverted from sinks into the lavatory cisterns) to flush lavatories. We also supply some homes with rainwater recycling butts, helping to reduce customers’ needs to use hosepipes in the summer months.
As part of the requirement of building regulations, with these technologies in place we have reduced the average water consumption in our homes from 150 litres to a maximum of 125 litres per person, per day. This provides financial savings for our customers as well as ongoing wider environmental benefits. Through the ongoing roll-out of our Standard House Types we aim to reduce this further with our target to reach 115 litres per person per day.
|Summary of performance|
589 homes were supplied with garden rainwater harvesting (2018 – 645)
255 active sites had Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) designed into the development (2018 – 230), accounting for 75% of homes sold (2018 – 65%)