Sustainable Design

Responding to one of the greatest ongoing challenges of our generation is the drive to true zero carbon. We recognise the responsibility architects have; we are at the forefront of driving change and delivering solutions for the transformation needed. We have the knowledge, skills, technology and dedication to take the lead and show commitment by taking action to respond to the climate challenge emergency.

Responding to the challenge

Driving change

RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge
Ellis Williams Architects has signed the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge. The challenge sets a series of targets for practices to adopt to reduce operational energy, embodied carbon and potable water. These take into account the latest recommendations from the Green Construction Board and have been developed by the RIBA in consultation with other UK professional bodies.

The challenge is to achieve the following reductions as soon as possible:

  1. Reduce operational energy demand by at least 60%, before UK offsetting
  2. Reduce embodied carbon by at least 40%, before UK offsetting
  3. Reduce potable water use by at least 40% from CIRIA benchmark/ Building Regulation figures
  4. Achieve all core health and wellbeing metrics

The challenge is to achieve the following reductions as soon as possible.

UK Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency
Ellis Williams Architects has signed the UK Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency. Together with the other guarantors, we seek to raise awareness, advocate for faster change and share knowledge and research to strengthen our working practices and create architecture and places that encourage positive change and protect our environment.

We will seek to:

  • Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action amongst our clients and supply chains.
  • Advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices and a higher Governmental funding priority to support this.
  • Establish climate and biodiversity mitigation principles as the key measure of our industry’s success: demonstrated through awards, prizes and listings.
  • Share knowledge and research to that end on an open source basis.
  • Evaluate all new projects against the aspiration to contribute positively to mitigating climate breakdown, and encourage our clients to adopt this approach.
  • Upgrade existing buildings for extended use as a more carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there is a viable choice.
  • Include life cycle costing, whole life carbon modelling and post occupancy evaluation as part of our basic scope of work, to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.
  • Adopt more regenerative design principles in our studios, with the aim of designing architecture and urbanism that goes beyond the standard of net zero carbon in use.
  • Collaborate with engineers, contractors and clients to further reduce construction waste.
  • Accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in all our work.
  • Minimise wasteful use of resources in architecture and urban planning, both in quantum and in detail.

Parametric environmental modelling programmes and software
Investment in One Click LCA, a one-stop carbon & life cycle metrics software that helps calculate and reduce environmental impacts of buildings. One Click LCA can be used for and complies with BREEAM and + 40 other certification schemes, standards and requirements.