As operational energy levels decline, the embodied carbon of our buildings becomes more significant in looking at the lifetime emissions of a building. It makes much less sense to demolish buildings without good reason as it may take decades to compensate for the loss of the embodied carbon involved.
Some of our recent projects, like the David Attenborough Building, have used this whole-life approach to determine their future and explore how far the sustainable re-invention of fabric and services can also reduce carbon in use. The answer is significantly, with huge savings in energy costs being delivered.
There is delight and inspiration too in re-invention: serendipitous matchings of new activities to old spaces of strong character, the juxtaposition of crisply detailed new interventions with historic fabric and the simple joy of careful renewal and restoration.
Our architectural approach - underpinned by a strong sense of materiality and a respect for context - is ideally suited to the sensitive re-use or imaginative extension of old buildings and we have an excellent track record of successful engagement with conservation groups and planners.