Global warming has always had its doubters and the voices of dissent still show no sign of abating despite the unusually warm winters; the absence of summers and the devastating flooding that has affected large parts of the UK.
The belief has been in place for a long time that increased amounts of human-produced carbon dioxide is to blame for global warming -although there is no definite proof that carbon dioxide is the cause of any increase in the earth’s temperature.
The dagger that hovers over us comprises declining water supplies, reduced agricultural yields, negative impact on health and, the most current and topical threat, flooding and the erosion of coastal areas.
There has long been a burden of responsibility when it comes to the threat of global warming and that has, to all intent, driven the green agenda. We know that discussion around any one of those related topics, listed above, is enough to get us thinking green and asking for guidance regarding environmentally-friendly alternatives.
We are, to an extent, all complicit and, most definitely, party to one big green guilt trip when it comes to the environment and what those niggling voices of dissent are really asking is: is it justified?
It’s certainly not justification to get the budget on a project hiked up. We’ve noticed that clients will observe a green code of conduct when it’s cost-effective but not when it impacts heavily on costs. For example, LED light panels are proving popular on a lot of jobs - but then they do provide a cheaper form of lighting overall.
No-one wants to admit to box ticking exercises particularly – and that goes for client, consultant and contractor – but the fact is, climates always have changed and they, most certainly, always will. The implementation of green issues will continue to revolve around cost in the coming months and years.
We have the BREEAM ratings driving the sustainability of building across the UK and the ‘excellent’ rating has become more commonplace, which is most definitely a good sign. However, unless the Government gets involved and forces initiatives through legislation, any extra environmentally – friendly activity will be discretionary in the main.
Joint managing director Saracen Interiors Michael Page