Creating a sustainable future for retirement communities
Retirement villages in next decade
Net zero carbon regulated energy for new villages
Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions in 2022
Driving a climate resilient and net zero carbon strategy for a leading developer and operator of retirement villages whose purpose is to create communities where people live the best years of their life.
Inspired Villages is re-thinking retirement. Backed by a joint venture partnership between Legal & General and NatWest Group Pension Fund, Inspired Villages is creating vibrant communities where people who want to get the most out of life do it together.
The business is progressing plans for a portfolio of 34 retirement villages, equating to around 5,000 age-appropriate homes for 8,000 over 65s. An 'Inspired Village' offers residents an assisted but independent lifestyle, in beautiful environments, with an array of hotel-style facilities and amenities from saunas and steam rooms to lounges and coffee shops.
Driven by social purpose to create an environment that offers a better way to age, Inspired Villages also recognise the importance of creating a transformative environment and energy strategy for their real estate portfolio.
By taking a lens to its net zero strategy, we have helped Inspired Villages to understand how it can influence and manage all its impacts and make positive changes from building design, to energy provision, to EV charging strategies.
By 2030, Inspired Villages has committed that its villages will achieve operational net zero carbon, including regulated and unregulated energy, and outlined plans as a business to achieve a 42% reduction in Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions from a 2021 baseline.
“ We are blazing a decarbonising trail in our villages and leading the approach in the integrated retirement community sector to sustainability and social impact. ”
Neal Dale, Chief Development and Property Director, Inspired Villages
Extract from Impact Report 2022-23
Whole lifecycle sustainability approach
Our sustainability deep dive has helped Inspired Villages understand its environmental and sustainability impacts, and where the business can realistically influence change. It's a key part of the commitment to Science Based Target reporting by their investors, Legal & General and NatWest Group Pension Fund.
Our work has included:
- Helping Inspired Villages to define its own path to net zero and identify what the business can influence given their homes are often owner-occupied.
- Comprehensive calculation of Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions for 2022 - this established a published baseline of 5,345 tCO2e with analysis of the biggest impacts and opportunities for improvement.
- Modelling a range of scenarios of annual emissions from landlord-controlled areas of new build and existing villages, to support Science Based Target reporting to Legal & General.
- Detailed analysis of how each building archetype performs in terms of embodied carbon. Our structural engineers assessed the design of an apartment building, a cottage and a village centre. We provided recommendations on design specification changes that improve energy usage intensity and improve on industry benchmarks.
- Developed a specification and design guide for new villages to reduce operational energy demand by 8% and each site's grid energy use by 27%. The ambition is to continually improve this, exploring how to incorporate new ideas as well as the impacts of Biodiversity Net Gain and the requirements of standards such as Building with Nature.
- Comprehensive lifecycle costing analysis to compare strategies that would achieve operational net zero for all future sites.
- Standardisation of MEP services design to ensure the most energy efficient outcomes across each village.
- Developed an electric vehicle charging strategy at a key village location with likely demand requirements based on driving patterns, future EV uptake, grid constraints and energy generation and storage options.
- Energy-use intensity performance assessments and advice on the viability of different clean energy generation and storage options based on the typical design of a village.
We've established important baselines for Inspired Villages. This helps to assess the environmental and financial benefits of investing in a range of improvements from fabric-first building design principles to EV charging infrastructure.
We are also helping Inspired Villages to develop social value and biodiversity initiatives which will continue the company's leadership in their sector.
A sustainable solution
We're enabling Inspired Villages to take a helicopter view of its climate impacts across the business and property portfolio. It's a process that helps identify opportunities to make real change and demonstrate leadership in the integrated retirement community sector.
It's all part of a sustainability strategy to be climate positive, demonstrate measurable, place-based social impact, and be transparent in illustrating progress.
A 'super-charged' approach to due diligence to assess the potential of new sites, including potential revenue streams from energy infrastructure to investment impacts from climate risk.
Detailed services design in REVIT to inform and standardise future build programmes to ensure portfolio-wide commitments to energy efficiency can be achieved over a long-term period.
An EV charging strategy with predicted demand requirements to influence investment in EV charging infrastructure, based on understanding grid constraints, driving patterns and likely EV usage.
Setting the standard for MEP design
Our MEP team has taken the services design for the Blendworth Hills development in Horndean, Hampshire, from concept to a detailed RIBA Stage 4i. It's led to our design blueprint being taken forward as the standard required on all other village developments.
On behalf of Inspired Villages, we led a collaborative workshop for their supply team. We emphasised that specification changes at construction stage will have an adverse effect on Inspired Villages meeting its sustainability goals.
Reserved matters planning approval for Blendworth Hills was granted in September 2022 for the integrated retirement community consisting of the village centre, and 120 extra care apartments and cottages.
Our team absorbed learnings from other villages in the portfolio and established a template to ensure energy efficiency and net zero targets can be met.
Solar PV is key to the performance of the village. Our designs also account for mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.
Our sustainability and energy specialists assisted the planning submission on Blendworth Hills, and our structural and civil engineers have also been engaged in the design of the common archetypes that make up this village.
A comprehensive approach to assessing future sites
All our specialist technical teams work together to assess the viability of potential future village sites.
In addition to assessing fundamentals such as ground conditions, access, drainage, foundation and structural design, and grid connectivity, we advise on potential revenue streams or investment impacts relating to the energy and climate agenda.
We're assessing opportunities for biodiversity net gain, the opportunity for electric vehicle charging, capacity availability with the distribution network operator (DNO), alternative options for energy generation and storage, social impact and potential long-term climate risks. It's all part of a thorough review of future sites to ensure the very best outcomes for all stakeholders and communities connected to Inspired Villages.