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There lies an opportunity in an affluent town of Sevenoaks, along Pembroke Road, Kent TN13 1XR. Such an opportunity to develop residential structure by Designs Housing Company in a recent acquired site area that is approximately 0.078 hectares (0.19 acres). Around the site, there are a mixture of uses, including leisure facilities, apartment blocks, retail stores, restaurants, office buildings and the Bligh’s Meadow car park. It is a popular location for families and commuters located approximately 25.8 miles south east of Central London. This immediate surrounding is is an urban set up in nature, with large scale commercial structures that vary in size, age and style.
The choice of Sevenoaks town is because it offers several good local amenities with the High Street obtaining a good range of services and goods from multiple shops, restaurants, supermarkets and pubs. In Maidstone, there exit a range of retailers like Bluewater and Tunbridge Well shopping center. Offices are also in abundance along the High Street areas. School such as Sevenoaks Preparatory School, Chevening St Botolph’s CEVA Primary School, Trinity School and Walthamstow Hall School, no leaving out several other private schools surrounding the location. In addition, there is more than enough leisure facilities in Sevenoaks such as a number of golf, football and rugby clubs, and leisure centers not far away. For instance, the Knole Park National Trust is located a mile to the south east of Sevenoak. All these and other amenities would benefit the residence that will have the opportunity to acquire units of the residential building the company plans to develop.
The transport connectivity that Sevenoaks benefits from is excellent, that is individuals have access to rail that is 0.5 miles to the north west liking to London Bridge and Cannon Street that take about 25 minutes to arrive, while it takes 35 to 40 minutes to get to London Charing Cross and London Waterloo East. The transport services are also offered in several locations like Dovey Priory, Ashford International, Hastings, Ramsgate through Canterbury West and in the wider Kent and the South Coast. The entire Sevenoaks District is made up of well-maintained roads connecting streets, schools, social amenities, shopping centers as well as other parts of London.
The site that Designs Housing Company acquired for 2.85 million euros falls under the jurisdiction of Sevenoaks District Council, and will enjoy advantages from two structural planning permissions, and they entail;
Demolition of existing building erection of mixed-use scheme 9 flats and office, widening hardstanding where the planning permission was granted on 5th of July 2019 and the reference number was: 18/03801/FUL.
The second permission was granted on 7th of September 2020 and it entailed ‘demolition of the existing offices and erection of a five-story replacement office complex with basement whose reference number was; 20/01348/FUL.
Because of the approved size of the commercial scheme that was predicted there is a likelihood to change the residential scheme to offer more units as well as bigger GIA that will be subject to the vital planning agreements. These proposed accommodation for the approved floorplans in accordance to the agreements have been summarized below as follows;
Beside all other factors are favoring the setting up of the residential building in Sevenoaks District, there are concerns that must be met via the Sevenoaks Environmental guidelines and requirements. Therefore, it is the responsibility of Designs Housing Company to make crucial and well-informed environmental consultations via Sevenoaks Environmental Consultancy that normally offers well guided cost effective and bespoke environmental site assessment services to a broader range of customers to sponsor development projects that include contemporary build residential housing, commercial as well as industrial redevelopment, brownfield regeneration and local authority schemes. These measures are meant to look into the concerns of the local authority of Sevenoaks about reducing embodied carbon and carbon emissions in materials, building components or systems as well as construction processes that will be involved in setting up the residential structure of the newly acquired site.
Within the construction industry, there has been a minimal or dragging response to the Corporate responsibility. Corporate Responsibility is all about fostering the manner in which organizations respond to the requirements of stakeholders and make sure the sustainability of their functions. These are related to increase in carbon and carbon emissions as well as waste related to construction and planning projects. They are now forcing various, national, regional and local authorities to raise major concerns on the matter specifically the effect of construction and the United Kingdom’s 2050 net zero carbon emission they intent to achieve. It means that it is relevant to Designs Housing Company that is within the construction industry to positively impact the community of Sevenoaks in meeting the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon emission target.
As the company focus on developing the newly acquired site with residential structure, it has to show its awareness regarding Business in the Community (BITC) that defines Corporate Responsibility (CR) as the administration of a company’s positive influence on society and the surrounding via its operations, services and products via its connections with major stakeholders like the local authorities, employees, clients, suppliers and investors.
Therefore, it can be depicted that constructing excellence, which involves BITC’s leads, regards CR to involve four significant elements, and they include; environment, workplace, community and marketplace. The inability of a construction company to involve these elements might risk financial viability, loss of reputation, and risk of being pushed out of the market. Thence, looking into these elements, they entail;
The issues to regard when a construction company wants to develop a site is the climate change mitigation in contemporary structure as well as business dealings, not leaving out adapting to future climate adjustment conditions. The management of water, particularly water conservation and drainage, is another vital issue to environment in Sevenoaks District, as they are considerations of biodiversity and waste minimization on sites.
For a construction company to be successful in a community, there is need for it to engage the community on a local as well as on a global scale. The ability of an organization to possess positive influence on the areas in which it intends to venture or set up a residential or commercial structure, then it must consider creating job opportunities, create training opportunities as well as apprenticeships, offer volunteering opportunities to the staff and partnering with local charities in attaining a sustainable community, has the capacity to impact the success of the construction company in its projects.
The employees that work in a construction company must be treated fairly, without any form of discrimination as it is vital for the organization to employ locals if is setting up a structure in the same locality. It is attained via considering time management, health and safety, office environment, acquisition of contemporary skills, diversity in recruitment is vital for the success of setting up a residential structure in a contemporary market. This form of investing in individuals is a framework, and a developing strategy for a company to evaluate the influence of performance.
In a study by Arthur D Little o Business and Community, there exist about seventy per-cent of Chief Executive Officers that have confirmed the importance of ethical operations in a marketplace. Ethical considerations in this case include those aligned to the environment and social aspects, have potential to foster the economic performance of a company. Therefore, considerations in the procurement of construction products as well as in the office is vital, as is working with the supply chain to align with the policies set and the CR values.
The construction companies are the major contributors to the intensive application of energy in the development of buildings and infrastructure and in the functional phases, not leaving out the emission of carbon and other pollutants. Hence, thoughtful planning and design is a call by the UK 2050 net zero carbon emission plan, which can have a significant effect on minimizing energy use and pollution over a building’s entire lifetime. In the UK only, there is a significant rise in sustainable solutions being adopted by construction companies in the minimization of carbon emissions for environmental benefits and financial saving sustainability. These are specifically the case when they are regarded at the earliest possible stage of a project and where long-term benefits are entirely taken into considerations.
The origin of carbon and its emissions originate from materials used for construction process as well as throughout the operation of buildings during its lifetime. Particularly, the application of non-renewable energy contributes to climate change throughout the yielding of carbon dioxide emissions. When these emissions occur in excessive quantities, they contribute significantly to climate change, since carbon dioxide is currently the most significant greenhouse gas accounting for sixty percent of the ‘enhanced greenhouse effect,’ which in turn, is responsible for man-made global warming.
There is a varying degree of impacts on the construction industry in the UK as a result of Covid-19 pandemic based upon the difference responses in the UK and the local level. The impacts have led to the requirements for construction industry members to address both long-term and short-term business threats as the construction sector is faced with a contemporary national as well as international pandemic.
While it is a contemporary realities affecting almost every aspect of the construction process, particularly issues pertaining project notices for default, adjustment and scheduling, suspension of projects, reinstatements being terminated, workplace safety compliances, work force administration, construction material subcontractor and supply chain delays and influences, management of risk and insurance, claim and avoidance or alternatively, claim management as well as the dispute process are among many of other framework and processes that have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Therefore, prudent decision-making in this contemporary and unfamiliar pandemic requires the company to make informed consultation with teams and persons with necessary legal and industry experience. Therefore, a proactive resolution capable of identifying sound and practical legal recommendation will be vital to make cost-effective decisions as contemporary effects from the pandemic emerge with the construction sector members.
On 25th December 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) to the end came to an agreement on the post-Brexit trade agreement, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) that finally materialized on the first of January 2021. Previously since the year 2016 when Brexit was undergoing referendum, the construction industry faced a number of challenges like shortfall of skills, the shift towards offsite manufacturing of building materials, the increase needs to address climate change affected the previous sustainable construction industry.
After the Brexit, TCA introduced measures that try to ease restrictions in the flow of construction materials between the Eu and the UK. Regardless of the measures imposed, there is increase custom checks, double product conformity evaluations and circumscriptions on materials that originate neither from the UK nor EU, slows down the progress of construction projects taking place in the UK. Thus, the end results are that there will be increased costs of projects due to delays in relation to construction materials and goods.
The coronavirus (COVID 19), recognized as a global pandemic in the world, was the trend theme of the year that has dramatically affected the economy and disrupted the lives of many, companies in various sectors, financial markets and supply chains. The opportunities and uncertainties present in all capital projects. In the region of Sevenoaks, the essence of the consequences and magnitude of the consequences can be seen in the most part. Direct implications include a slowdown of products and work available by suspension and termination of parties or full projects in certain cases. Hence, this would impact the timeline of the project as there would be no enough resources and labour to complete the project in time. The construction industry had to confront several challenges in the years following the Brexit referendum in 2016 (Demirkesen, & Ozorhon, 2017).
Apart from Brexit, there are just a few examples of the consequences of the crash of Carillion, skill shortages and the constant difficulties imposed by COVID-19. Also, the cost of materials is quite expensive as of now, because most manufacturing companies have been forced to shut down due to various issues that may be associated with the pandemic, or transportation cost which in return contributes to the high cost of building materials. Nevertheless, the global crude oil price has risen this also has got a greater impact on the cost of the construction materials. The price of goods travelling across the border is projected to rise due to increased border controls and costly and administrative tasks, despite the elimination of import tariffs (Banihashemi et al., 2017).
Embodied energy accounts for a significant portion of the life cycle usage of energy in the construction industry, and it is always difficult to quantify the embodied energy. Thus finding a general relationship between embodied energy and the costs of buildings can provide a shortcut to such embodied estimates of energy, which can also help reduce energy consumption. The CO2 (CO2e) or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the building life cycle are linked to the project's non-operative phases. This includes pollution by extracting, manufacturing, transporting, assembling, maintaining, replacing, deconstruction, disposal and end of life aspects of the building materials and systems. The implementation of 'cap and trade schemes in which the central authority sets a cap on carbon emissions or a cap and the entities in that scheme have tradable loans (allowances) which reflect the right to issue a certain amount of carbon is an important step forward in reducing carbon emissions (Banihashemi et al., 2017).
The total credit amounts cannot reach the limit and therefore limit the total emissions to this extent. Companies who pollute above and beyond their benefits should either purchase credit or face fines from individuals who pollute below the allowance (Ogunde et al., 2017). The buyer is fined for pollution, while the seller receives compensation for reducing its emissions. This would make it easier for entities to minimize emissions and those that are tougher to buy credit. The justification for these schemes is to have business incentives to minimize pollution where the reduction cost is lowest. Both embodied carbon and working carbon are the entire life of the structure (heating, cooling, powering, providing water etc). Understanding the ties between "corporated" carbon and "operational" carbon will help to determine the overall optimal reductions in carbon.
NPV is a tool used to calculate the present value and the initial capital cost for all possible project cash flows. It is commonly used in the budgeting of resources to determine which projects will benefit the most. Discounted cash flow (DCF) is an estimation technique used to measure an investment's value based on projected future cash flows. DCF analysis aims at assessing today's investments worth, based on predictions of how much money it will produce in the future.
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It is clear that the coronavirus pandemic has not completely rendered construction processes altogether impractical to begin, proceed or complete, but it has slowed down, leading to delays and disruption, even if it is only the because supply chains have been severely disrupted. While the UK government did not order construction sector to shut down, it is because health and safety risk of Corona virus differ from project to project. Actually, individuals working in the sector are not close to each other, the sector is in a better position comply with the health and safety precautions that individuals working in an enclosed surrounding. In all circumstances, however, where activities progress, health and safety risk evaluations need to be undertaken, are compatible with medical, government and scientific precepts, and it is the duty of the contractor to offer a safe working surrounding which in return will affect positively to the cost of construction.
Banihashemi, S., Hosseini, M. R., Golizadeh, H., & Sankaran, S. (2017). Critical success factors (CSFs) for integration of sustainability into construction project management practices in developing countries. International Journal of Project Management, 35(6), 1103-1119.
Demirkesen, S., & Ozorhon, B. (2017). Impact of integration management on construction project management performance. International Journal of Project Management, 35(8), 1639-1654.
Ogunde, A., Olaolu, O., Afolabi, A. O., Owolabi, J., & Ojelabi, R. A. (2017). Challenges confronting construction project management system for sustainable construction in developing countries: Professionals perspectives (a case study of Nigeria). Journal of Building Performance, 8(1), 1-11.
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