Mount Anvil speaks to Future Cities Forum about sustainable building materials

Mount Anvil's Friary Park sustainability graphic (Mount Anvil and housing association Catalyst are working together to transform Acton's Friary Park estate in west London)

Following our recent sustainability event, Future Cities Forum wanted to further its research on how good design can mean fewer materials and therefore make construction more sustainable. This was a topic that we took to our forum member and developer Mount Anvil, in an interview with Mike Valmas, Head of Pre-Construction, Energy and Sustainability.

Mount Anvil has been working sustainably in the residential sector for a some time and we asked Mike to explain what constitutes a low-impact building. Mike explained:

‘If we’re talking materials it’s worth remembering a building isn’t sustainable solely through the materials used to build it – you have to consider its full life cycle. Known as a life cycle analysis, we’ll be looking at everything from demolition of existing structures to construction impact and material selection to operational energy.

‘The best place to start is by simplifying your build – by definition, if you’re reducing the number of materials used to build, you’re reducing the amount of embodied carbon. This is also true at the end of the building’s lifecycle, because if the building is simpler to deconstruct, you’re likely to reduce its environmental impact during demolition too.