Sustainability is at the heart of all we do for our clients
25 Mar 2021
As architects and planners, sustainability has always been at the core of what we do. Whether we’re designing a new office, a new school or a home, environmental considerations are high on our agenda. Therefore, achieving carbon neutral status as a practice is a natural extension of how we have been working for decades. This milestone is part of a continued commitment as a practice to exceed Scottish Governments net zero targets by 2030.
In our own journey to becoming a carbon neutral business we recently commissioned a report from environmental consultants Practically Green on our greenhouse gas emissions. We have also invested in carbon offsetting units from a peatland restoration project in Wester Ross in partnership with Highland Carbon. The environmental benefits can be seen from the start as the rehydrated peat acts as an enormous carbon sink. Going forward we intend to offer further investment within the peatlands scheme as part of our service on projects that align with our environmental ambitions.
Another achievement is that we will become a Certified Passivehouse Designer in June. I’m proud that as a practice we have always placed great importance on such a key topic as sustainability. An example was when we won an international competition to design a new life sciences building for the Rowett Institute of Nutrition & Health, part of the University of Aberdeen, more than five years ago. This £32 million project was recognised throughout the industry for being named one of Scotland’s first BREEAM ‘outstanding’ research facility – the highest sustainability rating a building can achieve at the time.
We continue to make strides with innovative sustainable schemes (such as Cloverhill residential development in Bridge of Don which once complete, will achieve a gold standard level of sustainability – one of the first for Scotland). And we’ve been involved in major regeneration projects in cities, including Marischal Square in Aberdeen and Candleriggs in Glasgow, that are leading the way when it comes to urban design and placemaking credentials.
Scotland has some of the strictest planning and building regulations in the world and will continue to become more onerous as the drive to net zero gathers pace. We have always prided ourselves on helping clients meet and surpass legislative environmental requirements in the most innovative, cost effective and efficient way. We are well-positioned, given our experience, to help clients meet the challenges of Scotland becoming a net zero economy and to ensure that the environment comes first; this will always be part of our ethos.