Reflecting back on an insightful few days at UKREiiF, our five key takeaways from this year are summarised below with ‘collaboration’ appearing as a common thread throughout...
An emerging theme from conversations at UKREiiF was that uncertainty around regulations and requirements for planning and approval is hindering the acceleration of developments. We believe that increased collaboration from planning authorities across both the public and private sectors within the industry, as well as more innovation from government regulation to help secure investment and drive projects forward, would help to establish a clearer picture.
Innovation is fundamental for growth and evolution, and this was highlighted in the context of adapting to the cost of living crisis and supporting the levelling up agenda, as explored in the panel discussion chaired by one of our Partners, Mark Richardson. It was particularly encouraging to hear about new, innovative business models around finance and investment for projects in today’s climate. Notable takeaways included pursuing housing retrofit and freeing up capital for investment as a solution.
Over the next few years, we predict to see a rapid transition towards Net Zero Carbon and beyond, with this critical agenda becoming front and centre of business strategy and planning across the value chain. The UK’s cost of living crisis is intrinsically linked to the global climate crisis. As an industry, there has been a notable shift in progress towards creating a more sustainable future through building design. However, addressing inefficiencies with existing buildings through retro-fitting should be elevated rather than solely prioritising new projects.
As an industry, it feels like we are experiencing a pivotal turning point across the value chain with progressive action and stronger alignment around sustainability and the Net Zero Carbon agenda. The consensus is that the key to achieving impact lies in moving away from siloed thinking and solutions, and instead moving to collaboration and wider buy-in.
5. Social value
We anticipate that social value will play a more prominent role in developments and retrofitting going forwards, so it’s refreshing to see the broader spectrum of social value featuring as a key part of the value chain itself — including communities, environments, wellbeing and governance.