You can probably sum up sustainability with four words, ‘Use less, choose well’.
The first question is sometimes, do you build new or re-use an existing structure? By retaining an existing structure, we calculate it’s possible to reduce a building’s embodied carbon by up to 50%.
Recycled materials can reduce the environmental impact further. Interestingly 75% of all the aluminium that’s been made in the world since 1886 is still in use! We can reclaim and recycle other materials (such as concrete and steel) and minimise the distance new materials travel by sourcing locally wherever possible. Specifying durable materials and equipment also means longer serviceability and less waste.
We can design-in energy efficiency and minimise local emissions through all-electric plant. During construction, pre-fabrication can increase on-site efficiency and reduce noise pollution.