Sustainability, Health and Wellbeing

Most companies feel they need to say something about sustainability these days. The problem is that most of it is only skin deep. Our interest spans our full working careers and is a real focus for our practice. That doesn’t mean we ignore economic realities. We know that good eco-credentials need to be justified. Sometimes this is through a compelling business case and sometimes through health and wellbeing benefits.

We work with our Clients to sort the greenwash from the facts, so we can make informed decisions together. We know that there are many ways to achieve sustainable building. Our approach is to interrogate all relevant methods, systems and products available to develop a rounded technical understanding of what works where.

This thinking means we do not favour one particular system. We have experience of open and closed panel timber frame, steel frame, volumetric, ICF and large-format block systems. We understand the constraints and opportunities of each and can help choose the right one for your project.

Beyond construction technology, we are also familiar with the internationally recognised BREEAM Assessment process as well as Passivhaus. This wider understanding takes in energy and water use, waste, materials, health and wellbeing and ecology. We know that creating a low carbon building is not just about ‘add-ons’. By putting the thinking in at the earliest stage we can maximise the opportunities for sustainability within your budget.

Health and wellbeing isn’t something most people think about when they commission a new building. We’d like to change that. Why? Because several studies in the US and UK have shown that adults and children spend over 90% of their time indoors.

Our experience of the world, physical and sensory, is overwhelmingly defined by the four walls and materials that make up the rooms of our offices and homes. 

We’ve all been in places that made us feel less than our best. The problem is that many of us spend the bulk of our lives in rooms like this. Offices that are stuffy, with cleaning chemicals liberally sprayed on all surfaces every other day or conversely nothing cleaned in months. Poor lighting and limited access to daylight. It just fades into the background of our day to day. 

We hope that when we make a new building for a Client we can get it right from the start. Through simple choices, we can set up spaces that make people feel good and enhance productivity and health. This doesn’t need to cost more – it just needs care and attention. Access to daylight, fresh air, the materials that make up the surfaces you touch and interact with. 

Done well, this makes spaces that reduce allergies, aid concentration, increase productivity and reduce ‘sick building syndrome’ effects like headaches and irritation from contaminants. They also raise mood and help reinforce natural circadian rhythms. These effects are well documented and founded on good quality research.