Process. People. Planet.
At Millen we are passionate about creating designs that benefit people and the planet and we believe strongly in our responsibility as a development company to drive this within our industry.
Sustainable technologies are constantly adapting and evolving and Millen strives to be at the forefront.
Here are just some of the measures we take to enhance sustainability on our schemes:
We specify vertical gardens for the many benefits they bring to our environment; increase in air purification, reduction in ambient noise and temperatures, increase in biodiversity by promoting the habitat of butterflies, insects and birds within urban areas, creating a sense of wellbeing, and not to mention we love how they look!
These systems are fitted to the walls once weather tight so can be a great option for existing buildings also. Even a small wall can make a big difference to our environment.
Ensuring energy efficiency on our units is arguably the most important factor in designing sustainably, our projects aim to reduce and eliminate/neutralise carbon we do this by specifying ground or air source heat pumps, insulation, triple glazing and orientating buildings for solar gains. The sun is the best form of heating however sometimes buildings don't utilise this free heating source. We typically build using SIPS (structurally insulated panels) or ICF (insulated concrete formwork) to ensure the building is as air tight and energy efficient as possible.
Millen select and target development locations based on sustainability. What we mean is we make most efficient use of land in existing towns, cities, often favoring previously developed or garden land where possible to save greenbelt and english countryside. Other sustainability benefits of building in existing towns include; promotes walking due to being close to existing amenities, utilizing existing bus and train links and being close to schools, shops and public services like doctors.
Many of our projects are designed with flat roofs or incorporate a flat podium to accommodate living roofs. This is such an efficient and beautiful way to enhance the environment and help offset carbon. Much like living walls there are many benefits to specifying living roofs; insulation, promote biodiversity, plants are selected for low maintenance and depending on the look you can choose how high the plants will grow. We like ours with a bit of height as they look great in spring when the wildflowers come through.
Ensuring the materials we choose for houses are sustainable is of great importance to our environment.
Fast growing timbers from FSC forests are our favorites, we love the look of Larch and Cedar and both meet these credentials.
In some instances we have to respect local character and this requires the use of brickwork. When we need bricks we only use slip systems as they work well with our building systems and require less transport to site.
Most suppliers has FSC labels on their products now so you can check they are from approved forests.
Biodiversity Enhancement Systems
We design schemes that create, sustain and protect natural ecosystems through the use of; bat boxes, hedgehog houses and highways, bee bricks, wildlife ponds, log pile houses, vegetable patches and hedgerows.
Some of our latest schemes include large meadows which are great habitats for small reptiles.
Millen also believe in supporting local communities by offering a selection of affordable housing developments, working closely with Housing Associations to build low cost sustainable buildings.
Initial costs of new homes built sustainably can sometimes appear more expensive than traditional builds, however, choosing a more environmentally-friendly build method promotes a cheaper way of living through low running costs if all mechanisms are adopted. Which means low utility bills, increase sense of well being and a healthier home.
Affordable homes should be affordable to run as well as to purchase, so ensuring low energy bills is key to Millen’s Affordable Housing strategy.