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

1850 - 2022.jpg

Annual average temperatures for GLOBE from 1850-2018 using data from UK Met Office, Source: Ed Hawkins


Aim for Zero

We are very aware of the role of the built environment in contributing over a third of global carbon emissions, and our role in reducing or offsetting these emissions through responsible and responsive design. Our practice is a signatory of the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge, aiming to achieve net-zero by reducing operational energy, embodied carbon, and potable water in our projects.  


Embed passive performance

We think of our buildings as an 'interface' between internal and external environments, and aspire to create this interface through the passive operation of the building itself (daylight, natural ventilation, thermal mass, solar gains) instead of active energy-consuming systems (heating, cooling, mechanical ventilation). 

Diagrid recording studio, 2021

This new-build recording studio build in east London uses a layered approach to achieve an interface between inside and outside. The building is conceived like an onion, each layer playing a role in determining the internal thermal and acoustic environment. 

Architect : A-Zero Architects

Giles Bruce, Ross King

Contractor : DB Contracts

Structural Design:  Simple Works

Glulam : Construkt CLT

Photos © Agnese Sanvito


Design environments for people

We design comfortable spaces that can adapt to people's evolving needs. Buildings need to cater for changing scenarios, families grow, and shrink, children become teenagers, parents become elderly. Buildings also increasingly need to adapt to a changing climate. We like to design of our projects in response to these dynamics, to ensure that the buildings remain comfortable and useful for the people that use them. 


Use timber instead of steel

We enjoy working with wood, and actively prioritise it over high carbon marterials like steel. We use sawn and engineered construction timber like glulam, cross-laminated timber, and brettstapele. We strive to trace the origin of all specified timber, and have been able on occasion to even select the trees which we use in our projects. 

Forest House, 2023

This residential extension and reconfiguration used native grown timber from a Welsh forest, which we were able to track from harvesting to installation. Having control over the supply chain allowed us to be selective in terms of quality and quantity of the material used.

Architect : A-Zero Architects

Giles Bruce, Wei-I Chen, Limal Harris

Contractor : J&M Contractors

Structural Design:  Studio Allen

Photos © Agnese Sanvito


Measure performance

If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.  To make informed decisions about our designs, we need to measure and analyse them. We measure the energy balances of our buildings - the energy they receive from the sun, the energy they loose from through their envelope. We measure the the environmental impact of the materials we specify - what it takes to make the products we specify, and how those products will impact their environment after we have specified them. And most importantly, we think about the contribution of our projects to the Climate Crisis, in particular the carbon emissions which arise through the making and operation of our projects. 


Connect inside and outside

The connection between inside and outside defines how we experience a building – nobody wants to be in a windowless room. We think about how we can frame views to the landscape or the sky, how we can allow the dynamic of the external environment to echo in the internal environment, or how we can design openings to draw outside air through the building for comfort and cooling.