Since the early 1990’s, an approach to sustainability has been a developing consideration in our work, and has now become integral to the way we approach our projects. Good sustainable design must meet the clients brief without wasting resources either in construction or operation. It cannot be bolted onto a project at a later date, it should be treated as a key factor influencing the entire initiative, calling for an integrated approach to the project from the entire team.
We adopt a passive design approach wherever possible, by firstly considering built form, using the building fabric to condition the internal environment thereby reducing the need for artificial conditioning, reducing initial capital cost and cost in use, whilst benefiting the environment. Through the careful specification of materials and equipment we aim to create buildings that attain a balance of environmental, economic and social performance. For a building to be truly sustainable it must be economically and functionally successful, as well as achieve the goals of low environmental impact and low energy use.
We aim to design sustainable buildings that minimise energy requirements and reduce the carbon footprint of a project, whilst providing functional, comfortable and invigorating spaces.
The inaugural Stirling Prize winning building for the University of Salford, the Centenary Building, was seminal in this regard, utilising the sectional arrangement to naturally ventilate all accommodation (aside from the lecture theatre), and thermal mass to attenuate environmental extremes.
St Catherine’s College Phase II, and in particular the Arumugam Building (which contains the new Lodge and teaching accommodation), uses passive cooling with air being admitted at each floor level, tempered during winter months, then predominantly naturally exhausted through stacks between the teaching rooms and circulation spaces, boosted during the summer months. The thermal mass of the building is used to moderate temperature extremes. We worked closely with the services engineers, on this project, to integrate passive environmental systems into the developing design
Duncan House, Stratford, a mixed-use project for Watkin Jones, uses CHP for heating throughout the student accommodation, academic building and residential apartments.
We work closely with the project environmental engineer to test the most appropriate form of renewable energy on a project specific basis, taking into account the site layout, building type, budget and the clients aspirations.