Puma Property Finance and UCL launch research centre for sustainability in the construction industry

Puma Property Finance is sponsoring the launch of UCL’s new research centre focused on developing sustainable practices in the construction industry and the built environment.

The new Centre of Sustainable Governance and Law in the Built Environment — which will sit within the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction — seeks to address the challenge of building more with less emissions as the demand for more and better-quality housing increases.

The two-year partnership will see the development of research designed to improve understanding of sustainability practices in the built environment and drive forward solutions, with a particular focus on:

  • identifying the best measurement tools to accurately measure the environmental emissions and the social impact of construction projects and buildings
  • developing innovative financing models for construction projects
  • improving knowledge transfer
  • decarbonising building stock

The ten-person research team will be led by Dr Armando Castro, an associate professor at UCL, who has been researching and writing about ESG-related themes since 2014. 

Other team members’ expertise spans economics, finance, civil engineering, surveying, geography, management and law, in order to tackle and solve the wide-ranging issues across the industry.

Paul Frost, managing director at Puma Property Finance and member of the Centre’s advisory board, said: “We’re incredibly proud to sponsor UCL’s new research centre and play our part in significantly reducing the carbon impact of the construction industry. 

“Delivering net zero buildings and retrofitting existing ones is a huge challenge, especially as we try to meet the demand for more and better quality housing, education facilities and suitable accommodation for our ageing population.

“Progress can’t be achieved through policy and regulation alone; it requires collaboration across industry and academia, innovation, creativity and ambition if we’re to drive truly impactful change.

“This new centre offers an exciting opportunity to put that into practice, and we are delighted to be supporting its important work. 

“The finance sector has enormous influence over the real estate that we build in this country and around the world; we can and must use that influence for the benefit of both current and future generations.”

Dr Castro added: “This centre has been launched at a critical time and has the purpose of sharing academic insights and knowledge, while connecting and fostering the dialogue between academics and practitioners of the built environment. 

“This is greatly needed now since the construction industry and its players need to do more to address current societal concerns regarding their social and environmental impact.”

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