Quality design works with the environment
Early in 2008 we investigated various forms of carbon certification. We have a well grounded awareness of environmental issues yet the certification processes appeared expensive and onerous. We concluded that rather than putting significant effort into a paper process we would focus on doing things that will actually make a difference:
Perhaps the greatest “environmental savings” we achieve result from good design:
- Quality subdivision / urban design leads to layouts which encourage walking and cycling (connectivity), make best use of land and carefully considers efficiency of layout and servicing.
- Quality streets and reserves add value for our clients. We aim for multiple use of public land e.g. Parks can be parks, and linkages, and stormwater detention areas, and add amenity and openness through plantings. Roads can be traffic corridors, and pedestrian and cycle corridors, and green strips, and community mixers, and service corridors.
- We feel innovative stormwater management provides potential for many “win-wins”, balancing the needs of our clients and Council’s objectives, while accounting for the long term needs of the people who will live in these developments.
- We are committed to the implementation of best practice and sustainability, but acknowledge that the science is still developing in this area.
- We are researching and working hard with the Hawkes Bay local authorities in policy reviews, to encourage low impact design, and to ensure that such initiatives are not discouraged by unreasonable development contributions.
Vegetation is good for the land and for the soul
- Trees are something of a passion for us – see We Like Trees
- We are involved in a number of rural development projects that have a strong revegetation focus, and the added value is now beyond question.
- We have strived to retain existing trees in our new residential developments.
- We have a strong interest in carbon farming initiatives including the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), the Afforestation Grants Scheme (AFGS), and the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative (PFSI). While we do not profess to be experts in these fields we are, where practical, adjusting the design of some of our developments to maximise the benefits these initiatives bring to the environment and to the people we work for.
- We have worked with the Hawkes Bay Regional Council and are familiar with the land use assessment and assistance work they undertake.
Our objective at Surveying The Bay is to be good to the world without compromising our clients, and vice versa. This has lead to a pragmatic (and not extreme) approach to environmental awareness, which has the added benefits of keeping our work a happy, healthy and responsible place.