July 08, 2021

Sustainability Variables In Build To Rent Developments You Need To Know

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There’s no doubt that the damage done to the Earth has had a massive impact on everyday life. According to National Geographic, humans have added enough greenhouse gases to raise the Earth’s temperature by 1.8 degrees fahrenheit over the last two centuries, causing extreme weather events and the melting of the polar ice caps.

It’s ironic. The more advanced our technology gets, the worse our planet seems to be. However, the same advancements will lead us to a brighter, greener future as long as we’re all a lot wiser about how we use tech.

We’re already seeing how smart meters cut water and energy wastage, and that’s just one example. There are all sorts of ways we can reduce waste and cut emissions. Everything from grand gestures (such as switching to paperless working methods) through to the simple things (like turning off the light when you leave a room) have an impact.

And because of Earth’s declining health, it’s never been more important to explore new ways of carrying out business without hurting the planet. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to build to rent developments, which is why we’ll be looking at the sustainability variables you should be aware of to reduce your carbon footprint.

What are Sustainability Variables in Build to Rent Developments?

Sustainability variables in build to rent developments are factors that you can change to cut the amount of damage being done to the planet. This can include:

  • Waste management

  • Energy usage

  • Recycling and upcycling

  • Finding ways to include nature in your development plans

The more changes you make, the lower your carbon footprint will be, which leads to a more sustainable scheme.

Fortunately for the environment, many build to rent developments are now being constructed with sustainability in mind. Blackhorse Mills in Walthamstow, London was the first BTR building to be certified to the Home Quality Mark by BRE Global. It’s also the largest residential development to achieve that honour.

If you haven’t come across the Home Quality Mark (HQM) before, it’s quite literally the sign of a better home. For a building to achieve this, independent experts grade the development based on its quality and sustainability.

By carefully considering the design of the scheme, the builders of Blackhorse Mills were able to improve ventilation, reduce overheating and develop communal green spaces that encourage residents to walk and cycle. With help from the right team, this could be possible for your development, too.

Sustainability Variables in Furnishing BTR Developments

We are always looking for new and innovative ways to reduce the amount of waste produced when furnishing build to rent developments. We’ve found many methods that work for us and our BTR clients, which have greatly reduced carbon emissions. Here’s how we can help with your project:


Recycling is a huge part of our business mantra. Whenever we deliver items to a development, we offer to remove, replace and recycle any old items that you don’t need any more, as well as all the packaging that comes with our products.

We send 89% of recyclable waste to an RDF facility where it can be converted and repurposed into electricity. We’re also partnered with a specialist recycling company that breaks down old mattresses and saves them from going into a landfill. We send 5000 mattresses every year to this facility, putting the materials to much better use.

Sourcing Sustainable Materials

The world has been changing for quite some time, and we have been at the forefront catering to these needs. Many of our clients prefer using more ethical materials such as faux leather, which is why we source ethical furnishings and fabrics for anyone who asks for them.

Where possible, we’ll use natural materials like wood, bamboo and bark because they are easier to recycle and are biodegradable. This means we do the least amount of damage to the planet as possible when furnishing.

Biophilic Design

There’s an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the use of biophilia in interior designs. Not only does biophilic design improve the mental wellbeing of residents, it encourages a stronger connection with nature.

It’s fair to say life has been stressful for everyone lately. Many residents will have spent most of their time walking around enjoying the outdoors to avoid mixing with others. Reconnecting with nature is always a good thing, but now that we can meet up inside and residents can enjoy amenity spaces again, we have to make sure the new appreciation for nature continues to grow.

Think about using natural colour schemes; sky blues and grassy greens. Encourage the use of natural light, and add some plants into the mix.

Plantlife in your build to rent developments will absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the air. While recent studies have shown that only having a few plants will create very little impact, putting a substantial amount of greenery in your developments will still help absorb toxins in the air and can prevent harmful bacteria from settling in.

The Benefits of Being Sustainable

There are many reasons why you want your build to rent developments to be known as sustainable. These include:

An Improved Brand Image

The younger generations have been leading the fight against climate change for a long time, and it’s Millennials and Gen Z that are more likely to be your residents. According to the Buy Association, the average age of BTR residents is 28.2 years, so appealing to this demographic in any way you can will add a boost to your development.

Being able to promote a low carbon footprint will go a long way in improving your brand’s image. Potential residents and investors want to know you’re doing the right thing by the environment, and putting effort into sustainability shows your brand is responsible.

Too many big companies get a bad reputation for causing more harm than good, but we know this isn’t the case. The main issue is getting people to believe you when you say you’re cutting emissions. The external partners you work with and providing regular reports that are accessible to the public can do a lot to counteract the naysayers.

In turn, this has the potential to attract more attention to your current and future developments, which can lead to bigger investments and renting out your units quicker.

Reduced Costs for You & Residents

Sustainable business practices create long-term efficiency, which means using fewer resources, improving productivity and ultimately reducing costs. While some methods do include an upfront cost, such as installing solar panels, they’re a long-term solution. The benefits come as time goes on.

Naturally, if your costs and resource usage are lowered, you can pass that saving onto residents, which can help attract new tenants or encourage existing ones to extend their lease.

Alternatively, if you’ve managed to save your BTR some money, it can be reinvested back into your build to rent development. Maybe you can use the money to find more sustainable methods, or throw an event for your residents.

You’re only limited by your imagination, but don’t let those savings go to waste when they can be used for so much more.

Reduced Waste

This may be the most obvious point, but it’s always worth remembering the main aim of creating sustainable build to rent developments. By improving running operations, you can massively reduce your carbon footprint in almost every way.

Less products and packaging will end up in landfills and renewable energy will be used to power rooms, which will lead to a cleaner, safer environment.

When looking for partners to help develop your projects, you should always see what steps they’ve taken to reduce their waste output. This will show you who takes their corporate responsibilities seriously and who is on the same wavelength as you.

LOFT always does right by the planet where possible. When we are instructed to fit out or replenish build to rent developments, we recycle as many old pieces as possible. Not only that, salvageable pieces are restored and donated to charities such as Mustard Tree.

We also hold regular tree planting days with our partners at Gone West. For every one apartment furnished, we plant a tree and take affirmative measures in creating a more sustainable world. Want to join our next tree planting event? Get in touch to find out the date and location.

A Sustainable Build to Rent Development

Helping improve the planet in any way we can is a main driver for us. We’re constantly looking at how we can grow and offer more services to reduce the carbon footprint that can come from build to rent developments.

The strategies we currently have in place work for us and our clients, and we want to do our part in making sure they can work for you, too.

If you want to create a more sustainable BTR scheme, get in contact with our team. We will furnish your entire development in the most environmentally friendly way possible.