Buildings use approximately 40% of all energy in the UK making development and construction one of the least sustainable industries.
Our specialist sustainability unit was formed 20 years ago to research, develop and disseminate best practice in responsible architecture to all members of the design team. The aim is to ensure that sustainability is embedded by default not only in our approach to design, but also in the way we run our own business. In 2006 we became one of the first architectural practices to be accredited to BS EN ISO 14001:2004, the internationally recognised environmental management standard. Our philosophy of continual improvement through our internal design and technical review process has also enabled us to remain at the forefront in this field allowing our clients to make informed choices for their projects.
We may concern ourselves with energy conservation and the reduction of waste but we also believe in creating spaces that are attractive, healthy and life enhancing as well as being socially and environmentally sensitive. However, we never lose sight of the fact that the main challenge is to satisfy these requirements whilst ensuring that a development remains profitable for our clients.
Our approach is always to discuss sustainable issues and benefits with our clients at the earliest possible opportunity in the design process. It is important to establish at the outset the aspirations for the project, the feasibility of targets in view of the context and the budget and align a common vision that the whole team can then strive to achieve. If considered early enough, sustainable design does not have to be expensive. The greatest savings are usually to be found by designing passively and addressing building shape, orientation, quantum of glazing, responsible sourcing of materials, insulations levels and detailing. We are also keen to measure and value solutions that are proposed to enable the most appropriate choices to be made and the greatest benefits achieved for the client and the environment.
In summary we aim to create environments that are low impact to build, efficient in use, easy to care for, pay their way and are flexible and durable enough to last a useful lifetime or two.