Sustainable Design

Introduction

We believe in the principles of sustainable design in all its forms, i.e. environmental, economic and social. The correct balance of all three aspects of the sustainability triangle will be critical to the success of any golf development and planning authorities will normally expect each to be carefully considered during the Environmental Impact Assessment before planning permits are granted.

Environment

A golf course is much better if it is designed in harmony with its environment and this will give its special genius loci, or spirit of place, which sets it apart from the other golf courses in the area. With a degree in Landscape Architecture, the Principal of the practice has considerable experience in applying sound ecological practices to the integration of the golf course within the natural landscape and developing planting plans which respect and enhance the local environment of the site.

Water issues are becoming increasingly important in the determination of a planning application for a new golf development and often the final decision will hinge on whether these have been properly resolved. This will include ensuring that a sustainable source of water has been found for irrigation purposes, and whether measures have been taken to mitigate potential flood risks and avoid pollution of neighbouring water courses and groundwater supplies from fertilisers and pesticides. Working with consultants, we can address each of these areas of concern.

We seek to minimise expensive and environmentally damaging earthworks by designing the golf course to fit closely with the existing topography wherever possible, and by utilising and enhancing the natural features of the site.

We carry these same principles through to the way we organise our own business, recycling paper and other waste products produced by the office and travelling by train when it is a practical alternative to car or air travel.

Economics

In order to be profitable, a golf course must be financially sustainable. This means building the right type of golf course for the target market and not spending excessive sums on construction. Since we provide accurate design plans and bills of quantities we can work very closely to the agreed budget and minimise the need for costly overspends. We work closely with the client and his/her financial advisors to find the best solution.

Often an environmentally sound design will cost less to build and manage in the longterm and so the two should be mutually compatible.

Social Issues

This is more difficult to define but will include respecting the culture and history of the site and the surrounding area, and designing a golf facility which fits within the fabric of the local social environment. It will mean good communication with the local communities, planners and interest groups; using local materials, labour and craftsmanship where possible; and ideally providing at least part of the golf facility which can be used by local people. Even in a tourist-based golf development it is best to engage with the local community and offer something for them to use. In addition, by developing starter golf facilities and developing local golfing interest, the golf development will have a more secure financial base than one purely based on attracting golf tourism.