Sustainability Manifesto 2020
Our Values At WilkinsonEyre we believe that innovation, collaboration and good design can further sustainability goals.
This ethos has driven WilkinsonEyre to deliver innovative, eƱcient and beautiful design solutions that achieve a balance between ethical, environmental, social and economic sustainability. We embrace the fundamental principle of “doing more with less” that inspired the high-tech architectural movement and have successfully interpreted this philosophy in designing for the urgent environmental needs of the 21st Century.
Our global reach and diverse portfolio of projects create many opportunities to further sustainable design in practice; we strive to explore and outpace given targets on energy performance whilst delivering viable solutions, incorporating innovation and design ưair as we do so.
Post Occupancy Evaluation
We recognise our obligation as a profession to address the climate emergency. We are committed to make a decisive, multi-faceted and strategic contribution towards achieving national and global sustainable development goals, making this a key concern of our business. To this end, we have committed to the following sustainability performance and benchmarking initiatives;
Our ambition is to design within the net zero carbon buildings framework, set out by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), the UK’s building industry response to the UNFCC Agreement (‘The Paris Agreement’) limiting global average temperature increase to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. We are strong advocates of net zero embodied and operational carbon design, and collaborate with voluntary initiatives, such as the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI), a network of built environment professionals working together to put London on the path to a zero carbon future.
Mindful of the well-known ‘performance gap’ between design intent and in-use performance, WilkinsonEyre are learning more about how our buildings operate upon completion by supporting Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) studies.
As Stirling Prize winners, WilkinsonEyre are one of the 17 founding signatories of Architects Declare, a movement launched in 2019 to bring attention to the climate emergency and highlighting that radical changes are needed in the way buildings are designed and delivered.
We are also committed to go beyond carbon performance and contribute towards achieving the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. We will be doing this by adopting a set of core sustainable indicators deƮned in the RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide. To further our commitments, we have signed up to the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge, and we will be measuring and reporting our project performance against the metrics and benchmarks thereby deƮned.
Since the inception of the practice in 1983, we have consistently pushed the integration of architecture, engineering and technology. We seek to optimise the synergy between good aesthetics, structure, and environmental design, to draw out the best aspects of each with elegance and economy.
Ambitious sustainability goals and aspirational design
Measurable & Audited WilkinsonEyre’s sustainable design process is ISO accredited, ISO9001 (quality management), ISO14001 (environmental management), and ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety).
Our holistic approach to sustainable design has been awarded with the BREEAM Professional Champions Award 2020 and we will continue to target top rating on environmental accreditations schemes for all our projects, including BREEAM, LEED, WELL.
Committing to support at least one POE every year will enable us to strengthen the feedback loop between brieƮng, aspirations and outcomes, ultimately reducing energy requirements, CO2 emissions and running costs, while enhancing indoor air quality, user experience and health and wellbeing for occupiers.
Process of Continuous Improvement WilkinsonEyreâ€™s in-house sustainability team play an integral role in our architectural approach, and is formed of architects and engineers supporting our designers with technical and modelling expertise. Our goal is the synergetic integration of evidence and hard data into the design process, developing integrated solutions that optimise sustainable design, building performance, occupantsâ€™ wellbeing and our clientsâ€™ investment. The sustainability team conducts regular green reviews on our projects, from competition entires through all stages of design, inviting a range of consultants and leading industry experts for additional scrutiny as required. The lessons learned in each review are disseminated across the practice regularly through internal communication channels and workshops.
Example of customised early-stage environmental analysis tools used by the sustainability team.
BrieƮng, Scoping & Appointments The opportunity to drive sustainability derives from early engagement with clients and project teams. WilkinsonEyre will scope a net-zero carbon strategy at project inception, holding brieƮng meetings with clients and using agreed targets to benchmark early-stage design reviews through our in-house sustainability team. We will encourage the client to consider the evaluation of operational energy performance at the design stage (‘real energy’ analysis), the consideration of whole-life cycle carbon targets, and a commitment to post-occupancy analysis to allow the Ʈne-tuning of the building after completion. This strategy will focus on achieving substantial reductions in the operational energy and costs of a building, rather than merely ensuring compliance.
CLT prefabricated modules for the Dyson Campus.
Operational Carbon: Buildings in Use We prioritise passive environmental measures and eƬorts aimed at maximising natural light and minimise the demand for heating, cooling and mechanical ventilation. Our in-house sustainability team has capacity for testing a wide range of passive environmental strategies. We work closely with consulting engineers to produce estimates of energy use and whole life carbon at the early design stages and use these to drive design strategies to arrive at optimal synergies between buildings’ energy eƱciency and low-carbon energy supply. For each new-build or retroƮt project, we commit to work closely with our clients and consultants to develop outline strategies for achieving zero operational carbon, starting from RIBA Stage 2 and following these throughout subsequent stages of work. We will work closely with our consulting engineers to allow on-site energy generation by means of renewable sources, including wind, solar thermal and photo-voltaic. Furthermore, we will look at measures that favour heating and cooling peak reduction, as well as at incorporating demand response measures and energy (thermal and electricity) storage to reduce energy demand of built assets and reduce stress on grid infrastructure.
Above: Cooled Conservatories Gardens by the Bay, biomass system diagram. Left: Eddington (North West Cambridge) Net Zero Carbon development.
Embodied Carbon: Reuse & RetroƮt We commit to reducing the impact of construction by prioritising retroƮt, re-use and the re-cycling of buildings and their components. We believe that architecture should respond to its context and location; ensuring that our material selections are locally, sustainably and responsibly sourced wherever practical, and we design for the future; enabling ưexibility and disassembly to minimise future carbon generation. We use industry recognised software tools and follow best-practice guidance (RICS) to measure the embodied carbon associated with early-stage design decisions. Having developed customised workưows which are optimised to work in conjunction with our BIM and 3D modelling software, the sustainability team is able to use analytical data to inform the development of massing, forms and the selection of materials and to monitor change throughout the evolution of the project. We maintain a material library, which includes environmental data and product information provided by our suppliers (e.g. Environmental Product Declarations or EPDs). The information is evaluated internally using methods and metrics aligned or derived from best practice (BRE Green Guide, WELL standard etc.), regularly reviewed and Ʈndings disseminated to colleagues throughout the practice. We are committed to carry out embodied carbon analysis on all our applicable projects by 2022, using in-house resources and external appointments.
Right: The London 2012 Basketball Arena - designed for disassembly and re-use. Far Right Battersea Power Station - Heavy refurbishment of an iconic heritage building.
Health, Wellbeing & Biophilic Design The built environment has a great impact on wellbeing, and that aƬects every aspect of our life - from our productivity, to our sleep, to our relationships, to our mood, to our health and even our lifespan. Good design can promote social interaction and help creating a sense of community, it can encourage physical movement through careful design of circulation spaces, it can make people more comfortable by providing them with a variety of working environments and by giving them control. Biophilic design improves learning times, productivity, calmness and concentration. We believe that design with a focus on wellbeing requires a holistic approach and the involvement of all project stakeholders including clients, the project team, building managers and occupiers. Members of our architectural and sustainability teams are certiƮed in a suite of international certiƮcation schemes, including LEED, BREEAM and WELL. They are able to advise our architectural designers on best-practice health metrics as well as supporting them in providing bespoke solutions for each project both during the design stage and post-occupancy. We are committed to achieve and go beyond the RIBA 2030 Challenge’s core health and wellbeing targets, including indoor comfort, air and water quality, mental health.
Above: Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Right: Maggies, Oxford. Cancer care centre raised on a platform amongst a copse of trees.
Land Use, Water & Ecology We commit to develop design solutions that enhance, rather than deplete, natural resources and transition towards an environmentally restorative built environment. We aim to leave a site in better ‘regenerative’ ecological condition than before development. We prioritise the re-use of both site and building fabric. We seek to enhance bio-diversity and integrate ‘productive’ landscapes, and champion the sustainable remediation of site pollution, through green spaces and planting. We carefully consider the water cycle through our projects both at the building and site level. At the building level, this includes measures that prioritise water conservation and metering; at the site level, we address rain-water and storm-water run-oƬ in landscape design by recommending measures such as Sustainable Drainage Systems. In our masterplans we prioritise the provision of green and blue infrastructure, seeking to enhance public amenity, utilise sunpaths and mitigate climate change.
Kew Gardens Alpine House Pioneering dynamic solar shading and responsive design.
Technology, Innovation & Research Sustainability at a holistic level is a chain that is no stronger than its weakest link. Even with the most eƱcient building design it is not currently possible to eliminate carbon emissions completely, and carbon oƬsetting alone will not be capable of Ʈlling that gap. Technological advances in the last decade have simultaneously reduced the cost of renewable energy and reduced energy consumption through ‘smart’ components and systems at the building and city scales. We believe that a greater focus on technology is pivotal to meet the challenge and adopt a pragmatic approach that will allow our design to reap the beneƮts of further innovation. Research is a fundamental aspect of our design process and an ongoing part of our studio life. We are actively involved in the development of in-house tools and workưows that streamline early-stage assessments for all our projects, measuring daylight, thermal comfort, heating and cooling loads, embodied and whole-life cycle carbon emissions. We continually review design approaches and use post occupancy datasets from our buildings to improve future building performance.
Above: Siemens pavilion pioneered intelligent building systems to minimise operational energy usage. Right: John Madjeski Academy 3m high purpose-designed natural ventilation chimneys.
Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance WilkinsonEyre is committed to continual improvement of our Environmental, Social and Organisational impact. We commit to reducing our organisational carbon footprint year on year, and aim to be Operationally Carbon Zero by 2025. SpeciƮc measures to reduce our operational carbon footprint include less project related travel, streamlining our workưows to elimate unecessary printing and other sources of waste, commiting to operational energy reduction at our premises and using green energy suppliers, oƬsetting commitments and the recommendation of oƬsetting schemes to our clients. We commit to engaging fully with both our local community and the wider architectural community; donating our skills, time, practical and Ʈnancial support to inspire the next generation of architects and have a positive impact on our environment. We participate a number of educational and industry initiatves to broaden the diversity of the architectural profession. We visit schools across the country for talks and workshops, lecture at universities and support graduate shows, provide work experience placements, hold regular events at our oƱces to network and knowledge share and support a number of industry charities. Bi-annually, we take part in the Bridges for Prosperity initiative, a non-proƮt organization that partners with local governments to connect rurally isolated communities via pedestrian bridges.
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We believe in developing potential and fostering innovation, through our mentorship and research programmes we ensure that our teams are enabled to deliver world class architecture as industry leaders.
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Left: Wheel showing country of birth for all WilkinsonEyre staƬ members. Far Left: Kazabe footbridge, Rwanda – community design and build with a team from WE and COWI engineers.
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Wilkinson Eyre Architects 201 Kent Street Sydney PO Box R55, NSW 2000
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