/are we doing enough?
The buildings we occupy, the house we call home, the rooves under which we bring our family and friends together - to rest, to eat, to grow. They all have an impact on our lives but also on the world around us.
It's an unfortunate fact that the construction industry is accountable for 40% of all carbon emissions globally. As the designers, the technicians, the architect we have a huge role in curating how much/or little damage our projects play in this.
Are we doing enough? Unlikely. But can we do more? Yes. We look at forming any proposal under three basic principles to help do more;
Design to be just enough
Good materials for both you and the planet
By having these guiding rules we deliver buildings that have ‘prolonged sustainability’. This means it can be enjoyed both now and in the future. Taking both the physical/technical and also a mental/emotional connection to buildings making them wonderful to be in, making you feel healthy to be a part of it and be great for your wallet and also the earth.
This is not just an individual goal. This is a shared goal and by joining the RIBA’s push for reduced carbon by 2030, we have put our name in to be tested, to be pushed, and to stand for a better, cleaner building future.
/plant more trees
Woods, forests, and oak trees standing tall in farmers' fields all conjure up thoughts of green, healthy habitats. They are renewable, recyclable, and reusable construction materials. From growth, they absorb CO2, naturally helping battle against Climate change.
For many reasons from carbon offsetting, paying it forward, improving biodiversity, and growing a solution to global warming, we believe planting trees is a must.
As a practice, we want to play an active part in reducing the damage the construction industry causes. Specifying, detailing and growing timber are all part of one of the positive steps we are making.
We invest in each project we start by planting trees in conjunction with Plant 1 Cornwall. This starts a process of offsetting the project's production carbon costs.
Below are some of the steps we have taken to help generate a better future.
signing up to the net-zero whole life carbon challenge for new and retrofitted buildings via the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge.
publicly declared our understanding of the emergency we face in terms of climate and biodiversity.
support and help fund education programmes, beach cleans, and campaigns to protect our marine environment through the Surfers Against Sewage 250 Club.
help the National Forests goal of planting 9 million trees every year by donating a tree with each new project sign up.
add to the green economy through purchasing sustainable office goods from the coffee we drink to the paper we print on.
give to our local community through donations for the revitalising of a community woodland along with the continued use of shared amenities such as the village hall.
signing up to Architects declare and their initiative to #endgasnow which is a new campaign to end the installation and use of gas boilers and seriously accelerate the use of low carbon heat.
For us, as a practice, this is just the start. We have set out an environmental agenda and look to review it annually giving us a physical and mental boost to keep doing more.