Sustainability and Social Housing Maintenance

Social housing repair and maintenance (R&M) is a significant activity for local authorities. It’s logical, therefore, the R&M service must also be a key component of each authority’s sustainability planning. The way in which services are planned and delivered can have a significant effect on the overall environmental impact and carbon footprint.

All authorities are required to plan and deliver measurable reductions in CO2 emissions. And in many areas of the country the climate crisis is an important issue for voters. Sustainability is affecting just about every local authority policy area and social housing is often prominent among these.

The capabilities of R&M partners in managing carbon reduction and adopting environmentally sustainable construction methods will become increasingly important factors in procurement. At this point it is proven performance rather than goals and aspirations that are most meaningful.

How can the delivery of R&M services make a difference?

The most significant long-term impact comes from the way that housing stock is managed. A asset management approach allows improvements in energy efficiency (either through better insulation, window and door replacement or heating system upgrades) to be planned and logged.

Being less reactive also reduces the overall level of activity needed. More resources can be directed to improvements that will reduce emissions and cut residents’ bills rather than responding to problems and breakdowns. Technology is part of the answer as it supports more effective planning as well as cutting operating costs that can be invested in improving the energy efficiency of the stock.

Sustainability in Action

The work of the UK Green Building Council is having a significant impact through promoting zero carbon new build, retrofitting of existing homes, and operational energy measurement and reporting. Osborne is proud of our Gold Leaf membership of the UKGBC, which is helping us to improve our sustainability performance as well as influencing the wider construction industry.

Using the most sustainable methods and materials is an important part of our commitment. For our R&M partnerships, we also use route planning software to minimise travelling distances. We work hard to drive up our right-first-time repair rates to ensure those properties only need one visit from our operatives. Alongside this, we have a fleet of electric vehicles which are a visible commitment to sustainability for us and for our customers.

The significance of carbon reduction and sustainability will only increase in future, making the sustainability credentials of potential R&M partners even more important.