Sustainability Statement

Construction and the built environment are one of the major contributors to global carbon emissions (49% in UK) and as professionals in this field we have a clear responsibility to respond decisively to the environmental crisis and play our part in the process of decarbonising our world.

Zulufish works mainly in the refurbishment and extension of existing houses and therefore retrofit and sustainable upgrading of buildings is in our DNA. For Zulufish this translates as maintaining sustainability and carbon reduction at the heart of any project we undertake from now on.

As well as retrofitting and re-using the current building stock, by 2030 all new buildings must operate at net zero and achieve a 65% reduction in embodied carbon emissions. New buildings we are designing now will aim to eliminate any fossil fuel use and be 100% powered by renewable energy. 

We now view every new project through the lens of sustainability, from refurbishments to new build. There is limitation of scope within various projects, but it is essential that key sustainability issues are considered at the inception of the scheme.

Sustainable Design

At Zulufish we take a holistic view of sustainability, working with the existing building to preserve as much as possible, therefore reducing the amount of demolition and landfill. Our starting point for all designs is how the fabric and services can be significantly improved to reduce the CO2 footprint of the property. We work with specialists to assess the existing building for fabric insulation, services efficiency and air quality, from these base levels a set of proposals are prepared to levels of sustainable upgrade possible.  The sustainable design is integrated in the main project at stages 2-3 and then developed and delivered, with a post occupancy assessment, to check the CO2 reduction targets have been achieved.

Our Sustainability Approach concentrates on the 3 principle areas of Fabric, Services and Material Specification:


  • Improving the insulation of the walls, floors and roofs
  • Replacing the windows and doors with double / triple glazed units – or sympathetic secondary glazing to listed properties
  • Reducing cold bridging and creating a more sealed building 
  • Considered use of larger areas of glazing, to mitigate heat loss in winter and solar gain in summer


  • Improvements to get the running costs closer to net zero
  • Reduce use of fossil fuel heat sources (gas boilers), replaced with sustainable sources (air source heat pumps)
  • Improve ventilation and air movement though MVHR or Demand Control Ventilation systems
  • Low energy light fittings
  • Electrical goods to be A or A+
  • Reduction in water use, through WC flushing and lower flow taps.  
  • Reuse of water from WHB’s and showers for grey water for WC flushing
  • Slow rainwater run off by having permeable paving and green roofs
  • Rainwater collection for garden irrigation

Material Specification

  • Select sustainably produced materials with low CO2, to create an environmental build 
  • Select materials from local sources and avoid materials with high transport costs
  • Prioritise materials with low embodied energy (wood) and reduce the use of high embodied energy materials (steel & concrete)
  • Use the Green Specification Guide to lead material selection

Sustainable Construction

Every aspect of the construction cycle has an environmental impact. As responsible contractors we practice sustainable construction, the extent of that impact is firmly within our hands. By achieving optimal efficiency in every stage of our operations, we minimise our carbon footprint. By building sustainable structures that respect the world around us, we enable a positive environmental legacy. Some processes may currently emit more carbon than we want. These are the focus of considerable ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We aim to reduce our construction carbon footprint by:

  • Sourcing locally to reduce transport emissions
  • Use local labour to reduce CO2 from transport journeys
  • Use factory prefabrication to reduce waste 
  • Reduce waste on site and recycle waste
  • Use water-based paints and preservatives for operatives and occupants
  • Use sustainable products such as reusable / and recyclable rubble sacks in day to day operations

Company Sustainability Policy

At Zulufish we believe in being as sustainable as possible in how we operate as a company. This is defined in 3 more areas of our operations, building, transport and education.


  • Our office is nearly paperless, with all information stored electronically
  • There is high reliance on software programmes, document collaboration and delivery, to avoid paper use
  • Our computers are TCO certified


  • Our office is in a retrofitted house completed in 2012, with a highly efficient boiler, MVHR ventilation system and low energy lighting


  • The company cars are all hybrid or low emission vehicles. The vans are due to be replaced with hybrid vehicles 
  • The office location is close to two stations, with staff using public transport or cycles to get to work.


  • The team are regularly updated through internal and external education on the regulatory and technical aspects of sustainability in housing.
  • We encourage our team members to research aspects of sustainable design to disseminate it to the wider team and explore how we can integrate it into our projects.
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