Supporting best practice across civil engineering, infrastructure, construction and landscaping projects, and despite being only at the start of its 20‐year development, the Sherford Consortium was awarded the accreditation by demonstrating its commitment to developing a sustainable community, going beyond the industry minimum required.
Currently under development in Devon and set to take 20 years to complete, Sherford will be a new community eventually home to over 20,000 people, with the first of 5,500 homes now in construction. Since work began in 2016, and as part of the first phase of development, over 120 homes have already been completed with another 150 in progress.
CEEQUAL assesses projects against a set of strict criteria, with submissions must being able to demonstrate that significant attention and consideration has been made against several factors, including energy efficiency, materials and waste reduction. The rating and awards scheme supports improved project specification, design and construction, rewarding projects and teams which demonstrate distinctive environmental and social performance in their work.
As part of the long‐term commitment into creating a sustainable new community, the Sherford Consortium - the network of homebuilders responsible for the town, Bovis Homes, Linden Homes and Taylor Wimpey - has invested more than £1.6m towards eco‐friendly initiatives on the site so far. To date nearly 62,000 trees have been planted at Sherford, along with 200,000 plants and shrubs.
Sherford's community park, some of which is set to be open to the public in 2018, will provide access to countryside walks around the new town. Work has also begun on more outdoor space and facilities, including multi‐use game areas, sports pitches and tennis courts, as well as community play areas and allotments.
Paul Boileau, Project Manager for the Sherford Consortium said: "CEEQUAL is an internationally respected assessment scheme and it is fantastic that Sherford's sustainability credentials have already been recognised. Our shared objective is to create a new community which respects and enhances the surrounding landscape, with the first residents already benefitting from sustainable ways of living, including significantly reduced energy supply requirements and energy efficient homes.
"While still being in the first phase of development, we are focused on sustainable building and construction practices and initiatives at every level, working with the local environment. This includes looking in detail at the topography and geology of the land, and implementing systems which support the natural landscape, such as sustainable urban drainage systems, wildlife corridors and greenways, while also ensuring residents have access to ample amounts of green space and outdoor areas.
"The commitment to sustainability also extends to our workforce and the new £370,000 Sherford Skills Training Centre, set to open its doors in Spring 2018, will help contractors and individuals already working at Sherford retrain or learn new skills - addressing the construction skills challenge while also supporting the growth of the South West economy."
Cllr Michael Hicks, Lead South Hams Member for Sherford said: "This recognition by such a prestigious organisation as CEEQUAL, truly puts Sherford into a special category. As the main copy notes, the original intention of the Sherford project was to provide much‐needed homes of high quality and to develop a sustainable community.
"I am pleased that we are well on track in achieving this ambition."
John Hart, Devon County Council Leader said: "Sherford has been designed to be sustainable, so this is a well‐deserved recognition from CEEQUAL. Everything from energy efficiency to waste reduction is being considered as part of this development, and the extensive planting in the area will provide residents with valuable green space in their surrounding environment."
Sherford has also been recognised in the RICS Awards South West, with the development shortlisted in the Infrastructure and Residential Categories.