Sustainability – An essential design consideration from the earliest stage of the project
Sustainable design has rapidly become a leading consideration as the construction industry is a major contributor in global energy consumption. Our challenge is to come up with integrated solutions to mitigate environmental impacts while balancing the individual economic, functional and social criteria of our clients. The sustainability characteristics of a building affect its market, fair and investment value and can provide a clear competitive advantage.
“Development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Ref: The World Commission on Environment and Development (1987)
In the context of sustainability, the building fabric, services and controlled fittings are intrinsically linked. Each site provides its own challenges and opportunities. As new technologies and ideas emerge, we draw on our collective expertise and commercial insight to compare and evaluate them along with tried and tested solutions to ascertain the most appropriate for our clients’ required outcomes.
Employing an outcomes-based approach from the earliest stages of the project allows us to maximise the buildings performance through passive strategies where possible, including orientation and/or fabric in the first instance. Balancing the economic and environmental criteria with an emphasis on flexibility and return on investment, the ‘cradle to grave’ approach facilitates a reduction in both carbon emissions and energy costs both during construction and use of the building and site.
Through our considered selection of sustainable materials and construction methods we are competitive or even more economic than traditional methods/resources. In particular carbon charges and running costs are included. Consultant involvement from the earliest RIBA Design stages is a priority when aiming to achieve a high level standard of sustainability with a project. This ensures sustainability issues are addressed and embedded within the project from the outset and do not become an afterthought and therefore more difficult and costly to achieve.
Our team understand the requirements, challenges and complexities of designing and constructing sustainable buildings and can offer advice on recognised solutions that deliver cost-efficiency and mitigate environmental impacts.
Our approach includes consideration of