The social, economic and environmental impact of our industry has been questioned more and more in recent years as certain areas have come under some scrutiny. Construction can have a huge impact on communities, both positive and negative. In this blog post, we will discuss the social value of construction and why it matters. We will also look at some of the ways in which the industry has contributed positively to local communities.

As many people tend to focus on the noise, fuel consumption and space issues associated with building and design – it can be easy to forget about the intentions behind each project. But first of all, let’s discuss what social value really is.

What Is It?

Social value is the additional benefits that a project or organisation brings to society. This can be things like creating jobs, training opportunities, reducing crime or improving health and well-being.

It is not typically measured in the same way as financial value as there is no real metric to determine what quantity we find. It’s really about how a community is made better in all aspects and how the people living there will benefit both short and long-term.

To achieve this, construction projects have to be purposeful and considered. While we may see them as a burden to our day to day lives, we have to remember that there are intended results.

Some examples of the social value of construction include:

Improving local infrastructure

Despite the majority of the population living in urban areas, we can still see areas of neglect within our towns and cities. There is clear segregation between the quality of many properties across the country. Both commercial and residential projects are now relying on different quality standards to ensure we’re bettering our communities and offering construction solutions for basic needs.

Economy Boost

As a result of booming infrastructure, we begin to see people take more pride in their communities – investing their own time and money to better it further.  This, in turn, has a knock-on effect on the local economy as more businesses are likely to set up shop as well as a variety of housing projects bringing in people with different requirements and incomes.

With the increase in environmentally conscious builds – we are now able to put more money into sustainability and allow people to live in these homes that will save them money in living costs and upkeep.

As a result, they have the chance to invest more back into their communities in other ways such as supporting local businesses and environmental technologies.

Reducing Crime Rates

The social value of construction can also play a role in reducing crime rates. By improving the physical appearance of an area and increasing footfall with things like shops and restaurants, we make it harder for criminals to target these areas. We also create opportunities for employment which can help to reduce crime rates further.

As a result, there can often be more incentive to continue the development of these areas and invest even more into better housing, more accessible social accommodation and more.

Training & Employment Opportunities

Social Value Of Construction

The construction industry offers many opportunities for training and employment, especially for young people. There are now schemes in place which aim to get more young people into the industry and offer them apprenticeships and other types of training. This not only reduces unemployment rates but also helps to improve the skills of our future workforce.

It’s one of the most accessible industries to get into as there are so many different entry points depending on your skills and qualifications. The benefits of this to society are very clear.

We are more likely to see a reduction in homelessness as well as offer young people a chance at a stable career history. Not only does this provide consistent income, but greatly helps those looking to get onto the property ladder themselves.

Affordable Housing

One of the most important social values of construction is affordable housing. This is an issue that has been plaguing society for many years and one that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

The industry has a huge role to play in reducing the cost of housing and making it more accessible for people on low incomes. This can be done through a variety of methods such as using prefabricated materials, modular construction or even just building smaller homes.

Whatever the solution may be, it’s clear that it has a big part to play in solving the affordable housing crisis. It is necessary for vulnerable families and individuals, improving health and quality of life for everyone.

We’ve touched on our investment in affordable housing in the past so if you’re interested to learn more about our involvement – take a look at this blog.

Environmental Impact Of Construction

It’s not all about the immediate social value of construction, but we must also consider the long-term impact of our work. The construction industry is known to have a negative environmental impact and it’s important that we do everything we can to minimise this.

There are many ways to do this such as using sustainable materials, investing in renewable energy or even just increasing the insulation of homes. All of these things have a big impact on the environment and help to make our planet a little bit greener.

We must also consider the waste produced by construction projects. A lot of this waste ends up in landfill sites which can have a negative effect on local ecosystems. However, there are now initiatives in place to recycle this waste and use it for other purposes.

Some architectural designers and visionaries are even looking into the possibility of entirely recycled buildings. While we have a way to go on this matter, the leaps and bounds we have come in net-zero project work is extremely promising.

What It Means To Us

The social value of construction is often understated or forgotten about altogether. But as we can see, it plays a vital role in many aspects of our lives and communities. From boosting the economy to reducing crime rates, there are many positive impacts that the industry has on society.

As we continue to link environmental and social issues and recognise the importance of both, we will see even more growth across our communities.

The work we do including building surveys and consultancy is just part of what ensures every project makes all the necessary considerations to improve social value.  If you want to learn more about how you can increase the social value of your construction projects, get in touch with us today. We’d be more than happy to help.