Each of our projects explore the relationship between architecture and environment. Depending on the client, the brief and the site, we consider a series strategies to minimise the impact of our deisgns.

Strategy 00

Aim for Zero

We are signatories of the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge (*), a stepped approach towards reaching net zero with a series of targets to reduce operational energy, embodied carbon and potable water.

The International Panel of Climate Change estimates that buildings account for 32% of total global final energy use, and approximately one-third of black carbon emissions (**). Anything that architects can do to reduce energy demand in buildings, or reduce carbon emissions through the operation or construction of the built environment, will help address the Climate Crisis. 

Strategy 01

Embed passive performance

We often think of a building as an interface between the interior and external environments. The way in which a building achieves this interface is either through the architecture alone (passive operation) or through energy consuming systems which serve the architecture (active operation). As a practice, we prioritise passive strategies and avoid active systems wherever possible.

Case studies

Strategy 02

Design environments for people

We aim to design spaces which are comfortable for people to use throughout their lives.

Comfort is not just a setting on a thermostat. It is an approach to architecture which embeds environmental variety, and adaptive opportunity within every space. People need to be able adapt their home, whether that means opening or closing a window, adjusting a blind or reconfiguring a space for a particular circumstance. But they also need to be able to adapt for a future scenario – for example, designing for sulky teenage children, or infirm parents, or incapacity. We aim to think of our projects not just as a photograph on a sunny day, but buildings which create joyous dynamic environments throughout people’s lives.

Case studies

Strategy 02

Use timber instead of steel

We prioritise the use of timber, to minimise embodied carbon of structural elements. We work with with sawn timber, and engineered construction timber elements such as Glulam, Cross Laminated Timber and Brettstapele.  

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Strategy 03

Design buildings which last 

Most buildings are designed to last around sixty years, but if a building is resilient, useful, and valued, there is no reason why it should not last several hundred years. We design for longevity both in terms of construction detailing, future climate, and also in terms how community perception our projects. 

Case studies

Strategy 04

Connect inside and outside

The connection between inside and outside defines how we experience a building - framing views to the landscape or the sky, allowing the dynamic of the external environment to echo in the internal environment, or simply designing buildings to draw outside air through the structure. 

Case studies

Strategy 05

Reuse materials

Almost all our projects involved deconstruction of some degree. Instead of using virgin materials, it makes a lot of sense to use materials that are already on site, or reuse materials from somewhere else. There are cost and carbon benefits to this approach, not to mention the patina of age. 

 

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Strategy 06

Integrate Renewable Technologies

Renewables are becoming ever more present in the built environment, as a way to meet building energy demands without relying on fossil fuels. In our projects we prioritise technologies which are  simple to install and operate. Ground source heat pumps are optimal for low-grade heat delivery such as underfloor heating, although the spatial requirements and cost for installing horizontal or vertical for collectors can make air source alternatives, though less efficient, more attractive. Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems, make a lot of sense in minimising heat loss and assuring air quality. Solar renewables, photovoltaics and solar thermal both play a meaningful role in reducing carbon emissions associated with building operation.

Case studies

Strategy 07

Contraction instead of Extension

We have found the solution to a design problem is to make existing buildings smaller, not bigger. Selective removal of single floors and whole spaces, opens up spatial possibilities, of light, height and conversation. Smaller projects also translate as more budget per square meter. 

Case studies

Strategy 08

Height, Light and Social Connections

There is no substitute for natural light, be it light form the sun or light form the sky, and the more sky you see, the more light you get. One approach we enjoy is interconnecting floors to bring light deep into the plan, but also to open up the possibility of conversations and social interaction between floors.

Case studies

Strategy 09

Make efficient use of space

Almost all our projects involved deconstruction of some degree. Instead of using virgin materials, it makes a lot of sense to use materials that are already on site, or reuse materials from somewhere else. There are cost and carbon benefits to this approach, not to mention the patina of age. 

 

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Case studies

Strategy 10

Measure performance

Almost all our projects involved deconstruction of some degree. Instead of using virgin materials, it makes a lot of sense to use materials that are already on site, or reuse materials from somewhere else. There are cost and carbon benefits to this approach, not to mention the patina of age. 

 

Read more

Case studies