Sustainability: Brilliant Buildings

Sustainability is a key theme but consideration should always be given to the total project from conception through to use and it was interesting to read the “Brilliant Buildings Delivering Sustainability” publication.  The introduction by Alasdair Donn, Head of Building Performance, Willmott Dixon providing a reflection of their goals.


The UK’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 is ambitious and only possible if the buildings being delivered reach this exacting performance expectation.  Meeting tough energy and carbon compliance targets written on paper may satisfy project energy ratings, but unless that translates into actual performance, the
net-zero emissions target will forever be an aspiration.  We have to prove ourselves equal to this challenge by ensuring that both new-build and refurbished properties achieve reduced energy in use, banishing the gap we often see between what is promised
in design and what happens in operation. Simply specifying renewable energy generation as part of a building’s make-up will not be enough.

Our future is about embracing new ways of doing things: Passivhaus, Better Buildings Partnership’s Design for Performance, the UK Green Building Council’s net-zero approach, the Building Services Research and Information Association’s Soft Landings framework and our own Energy Synergy™ building performance improvement strategy all have a role in making the 2050 target deliverable.  Only then will the built environment be part of a solution to arrest the climate emergency that we and our future generations face.

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