1.2 Sustainability

What does it mean to be sustainable?

Sustainability is all about:

  • how we use our planet’s resources, like water, energy and raw materials
  • how using these resources affects the environment.

List the resources needed to build and operate a building. How does using each one affect the environment?

In the Wates Group, sustainability means balancing the outcomes of what we do:

“The principle of sustainable development is that resources (such as human, financial, material, energy or land) are invested to the best balanced social, economic and environmental effect for current and future generations, to create places that promote increasing social integration and perpetual opportunity: sustainable communities."

The Wates Report: Failing communities: breaking the cycle

These are described by government as:

“Places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment and contribute to a high quality of life. They are safe and inclusive, well planned, built and run and offer equality of opportunity and good services for all.”

The Wates Report: Failing communities: breaking the cycle

  • Consider some social, environmental and economic effects of a new development – both positive and negative.
  • Which outcomes would make a place somewhere that YOU would want to live and work?
  • Create a concept map to organise and present your ideas.




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I thought I’d be in the minority being a woman in the construction industry but that’s really starting to change...

Claudia Farmer
Commercial Trainee

School fly-through