Our Approach

“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

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

  • Economic, active and passive design strategies to reduce energy demand of the building and achieve maximum energy efficiency;
  • return on investment and CO2 savings of potential renewable/energy systems e.g. efficient boilers (incl. biomass), solar thermal, solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, district heating systems;
  • life cycle costs of building systems and well as the management and maintenance costs
  • added value of the beneficial effect of improved water and air quality on the building user’s productivity, health and wellbeing;
  • conservation of existing habitats where possible and creation of habitats for supporting and increasing biodiversity where appropriate, in line with the requirements of recognised standards including BREEAM;
  • defining clear measurable targets from the outset, to include post occupancy evaluation, measuring operational running costs etc;
  • working collectively within design team(s) experience in a proactive role to promote discussion;



  • for flexibility and future proofing through potential changes of use
  • to reduce the lifetime costs of a building
  • to reduce potential for waste and pollution through efficient use of resources i.e. future re-use vs recycle-ability
  • to increase biodiversity and habitat where possible


  • Clear targets
  • Staying abreast of the requirements of relevant environmental assessment methodologies
  • Independent certification and verification
  • BIM software, for efficient co-ordination and collaboration with stakeholders


  • Photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight to electricity
  • Natural ventilation e.g. stack ventilation
  • Thermal mass to regulate temperatures vs lightweight construction with extra insulation
  • Solar shading / solar gain
  • Efficient heating and lighting systems
  • Ground and air source heat pumps
  • Water efficient sanitary fittings
  • Rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems