Hartford Homes become Biosphere Partner
Hartford Homes have become the island’s first property developer to become a UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man Partner. Some may say it is an oxymoron for a property developer to become a Biosphere Partner, in fact it’s actually anything but, and Biosphere Isle of Man believe it to be very important that the construction sector engages in sustainable practices.
UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man have strict guidelines for their Partners, focused around; “Involvement with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man signifies your support for a project that brings widespread economic, environmental and community benefits to the Isle of Man.”
As a property developer, Hartford positively impacts all three of these key areas, and are already actively promoting these core values. Quality new housing is a key part of any vibrant, growing economy and the Isle of Man have important plans for growth that need to be supported, for everyone’s benefit.
Julie Jones is often the first Hartford contact for new homeowners and she is passionate about Hartford’s future plans.
“Our reputation has been forged over many years, where rather than just building houses, we develop communities. In our larger developments we are always looking at multi-purpose homes that entice all generations, from young families to grandparents, which along with parks, green areas, and thoughtful accessibility, help to create strong local communities.
As a passionate supporter of our unique Island home, we have been committed to minimising our impact on the environment for many years, while acknowledging that we do have an impact also.
Through what we do, we have created new habitat areas for ecology to flourish and promoted energy use reduction in our homes, by using highly insulated building construction and low energy fittings and promoting recycling. Our homes already exceed regulations for key areas such as energy efficiency which all help towards the mitigation of climate change.
We have exciting future plans to further address the obvious necessity to move a lot more quickly to address climate change and biodiversity challenges. Based on the focus of COP26, we are bringing our ‘sustainable housing’ plans forward to again exceed regulations and increasing our “re-wilding” and micro forest plantation plans. We want to champion the Isle of Man as a model of what can be achieved in terms of sustainable development.”
Hartford are already well underway with an exciting new initiative. In consultation with Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) and working closely with Ramsey Town Commissioners, they have finalised plans to develop a ‘Micro Forest’ scheme at their Royal Park development in Ramsey. A previously approved area of amenity grass that has now developed into a pilot ecology area.
This is the first of several planned Micro Forests by Hartford, with an anticipated planting in excess of 1600 Manx native trees. As well as the Micro Forest, new walkways will be included to aid access through the new area, together with landscaped public green areas, seating and native wildflower borders.
George Li, one of Hartford’s architects behind the scheme, believes this is just a natural progression to balance the need for new development and the equally important protection of the environment. “We all understand the need for quality, energy efficient new housing on the island, but we have to ensure we balance that with climate change mitigation and the needs of our environment and to enrich the locations where our homeowners and communities live.
We are proactively working with MWT in advance of any mandated ecological survey/input to ensure our developments are ‘best for nature’ and help us minimise our impact and protect habitats and biodiversity. We have already introduced bat boxes, bee bricks and hedgehog runs, as well as exceeding key energy efficiency regulation requirements in the homes we build. The next few years will see Hartford take this to an exciting new level as plans progress to allow for even greater impact reduction in carbon emissions not only from the finished home in use, but also for the carbon consumed in construction.”
Hartford will shortly be releasing full details of their new ‘Ecology Charter’, a written commitment to managing their environmental impact on our unique island biosphere.
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