Sustainable BTR refurb saves £300k and 942 tonnes from landfill

Sustainable BTR refurb saves £300k and 942 tonnes from landfill

The new 2022 HomeViews report Sustainability: The Resident Perspective has found that recycling is the most-valued sustainable building feature among residents for the second year running. In light of this, we included a case study of the popular Stratford Build to Rent community East Village by Get Living. UK residential furnishing specialist David Phillips worked with leading BTR developer Get Living on its refresh scheme for the East Village community in Stratford, refreshing, recycling and reusing furnishings to ensure no waste was sent to landfill. We take a look at what happened.

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east village e20 lounge in Stratford

One of the key benefits Build to Rent offers is the convenience of homes furnished to a high standard. BTR residents expect their homes to feel ‘like new’ when moving in, but at what cost to the environment?

Residents at Stratford’s East Village BTR community give rave reviews on HomeViews for the development’s modern design and attractive furnishings. However, as the BTR sector matures, schemes like East Village start to require furniture updates to maintain the high standards expected and enjoyed by their residents.

In 2020, Get Living and David Phillips embarked on an ambitious project to tackle the issue of waste for its refresh programme set to update furniture in 1,400 homes across the 67-acre site.


Get Living partnered with David Phillips, who were able to provide the capacity required to implement such a large scale project. Three fresh schemes and packages of new furniture were designed for East Village and David Phillips created a system for inspecting the existing furniture and categorising it into one of four groups.

Furniture in excellent condition would be repurposed and reinstalled as a fourth scheme. Slightly more worn items would be refreshed and sold through the company’s consumer Release site, which includes an award-winning delivery service that recycles all packing materials.

Items showing more wear and tear would be donated to charities or, for the most-worn pieces, dismantled and recycled in a ‘zero landfill’ process.

Bundling the supply of new furniture products with a reclamation and upcycling service has helped us move away from a linear take, make and dispose model towards a circular approach where waste from one process provides the valuable materials for another.

John Inglis, Head of Net Zero, Get Living


east village e20 kitchen

David Phillips has so far been able to collect 16,141 items of furniture, Releasing over 12,000 back into use for a longer life. More than 940 tonnes have so far been saved from landfill and almost £300,000 worth of furniture has been donated to charity.

Over 400 verified reviews give an average design rating of 4.50 out of 5 for East Village. Furniture is mentioned in 4% of all reviews on HomeViews for the popular Stratford BTR community and residents clearly love the furniture choice, quality and design.

Along with their value for interior design, East Village residents say that recycling is the one sustainable building feature they value the most. As a result, the Release programme successfully aligns with the priorities and values of those residents.

Reviewing East Village, E20

“Great place to live with great transport links”

Great management with quick response to urgent maintenance needs. Decent response to smaller needs also. Our furniture was replaced for a more modern set which is very good quality. In a refurbed flat so the general design of the place is modern and well kept.

Find out more

Head to the David Phillips site to find out more about this and other refurbishment case studies.

HomeViews sustainability 2022 report cover

Click the image to download your FREE copy of the new 2022 report Sustainability: The Resident Perspective – published in partnership with EE.

written by

Jan Moys

A residential property expert with over 15 years’ experience creating content... Read all

A residential property expert with ov... Read all