Case Study: Sustainability Statement

Residential Compliance Reports


Creating Energy Reliability

Scope Of The Project

Sustain Quality was commissioned to measure the Sustainable Development of The Hillside Glasshouse, an environmentally friendly four-bedroom house in Hertfordshire. The project is still in its planning stages, and the client required a sustainability statement and water calculation report to support a detailed planning application. When built, this unique and ambitiously designed house will achieve the UK government’s 2050 net zero carbon emissions target 30 years ahead of time.

The sustainability statement and water calculation report will demonstrate the client’s commitment to this proposed development and its future sustainability requirements. They will show how closely the design adheres to the requirements set out in the Local Development Framework, and demonstrate its sustainability credentials through committing to the Home Quality Mark (HQM), with the aim of achieving four stars.

Tools For Tasks Implementation

The HQM is a standard for new homes which uses a five-star system to rate design, construction quality and running costs. The sustainability statement uses the HQM measurements to provide a pre-assessment rating, demonstrating how The Hillside Glasshouse will meet the minimum requirements for four stars when it is built.

The sustainability statement also refers to and supports the local planning policies. These policies give context to the development’s plans, and demonstrate how they are shaped from the outset by an integrated approach to planning environmental components.

The water calculation report uses the government’s Water Efficiency Calculator for New Dwellings to assess the proposed development’s daily water consumption.

Challenges For Tasks Implementation

The proposed development is a unique design with a glass external façade, and finding a sustainable glass material that is viable may be a challenge. The location is also not favourable to public transport. 

The Hillside Glasshouse is still in the planning stages, so the HQM measurements were assessed from the proposed design, policies and strategies. Likewise, the water calculation report is based on the current design rather than the completed project.


The sustainability statement lists the HQM measurements, and proposes how The Hillside Glasshouse can achieve a four-star HQM rating after the project is completed. These include:

  • Sustainable transport options – including bicycle spaces and an Electric Vehicle Charging Point.
  • Ecological risks and opportunities – maximising the ecological value of the site, while ensuring recreational value to residents.
  • Private or shared space – clearly designated private spaces and external communal green spaces where required.
  • Flood risk assessment – to ensure the area is in no immediate risk of flooding.
  • Maintaining the rainfall impacts – design measures to ensure the post development water peak rate and volume of run off will be the same as it was pre-development.
  • Security – a security needs assessment will be carried out by a security specialist.
  • Indoor pollutants – minimising negative impacts on health arising from indoor air pollutants emitted from the building and its materials. These include airborne formaldehyde concentration indoors, and total volatile organic compounds (VOC) concentration indoors, which will both be measured post construction.
  • Daylight – promoted by the design team.
  • Temperature – thermal analysis using HQM comprehensive methodology demonstrates that the building is designed to limit the risk of overheating. Recommendations from this analysis can be provided to the home occupant.
  • Ventilation – aiming to achieve a high standard of air quality by meeting the minimum ventilation requirements.
  • Materials – responsible sourcing of construction products and the environmental impact of materials. The selections will include evaluations of cost and performance, as well as environmental considerations.
  • Recyclable waste – the minimum combined capacity of recycling containers and where they could be placed.
  • Internal and external water usage – recommends the daily water usage, and rainwater and grey water capture systems to reduce the demand for domestic water.
  • Considerate constructors – the Considerate Constructor Scheme Certification will be sought.
  • Minimising construction site impacts – aiming to adopt best practice in monitoring, reporting and setting targets for air, noise, water pollution and consumption across the site.
  • Construction record – inspections will be carried out by the client or principle contractor, and records kept.
  • Site waste management – a site waste management plan will be used to monitor and report waste in defined waste groups.
  • Customer experience – a home-user guide and on-call support will be provided to the occupants after handover.
  • Post-occupancy evaluation – to provide improved feedback on the building’s performance and occupants’ experience.

Key Achievements

The sustainability statement will aim to achieve a HQM rating of four stars. As well as providing impartial evidence of the development’s build quality, the HQM also demonstrates to the council and future occupants the overall expected costs, health and wellbeing benefits of living there. It’s also a clear indicator of the ambitious environmental footprint of living in this home.

The statement also collates information and data that will be shared with the project team. Good communication processes will ensure the dissemination of building methods and key requirements to all trades and site operatives. Results from previous sustainability statements feed into a bank of lessons learned and good practice, which can be incorporated into the design and delivery plan of this proposed development.

Benefits For Clients

The sustainability statement and water calculator report combine to provide a compelling indicator of the The Hillside Glasshouse’s sustainability, and form a persuasive element of the client’s planning application. It also demonstrates the client and design team’s commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability, and provides an exciting standard for the future of home design.


Whitbourne, Hertfordshire

Type of Project

Sustainability statement


Private Client

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