Sustainability Implementation Plans

Sustainability Report 2014

Sustainability Implementation Plans

At Atelier Ten, we have developed a tool that we call Sustainability Implementation Plans (SIP) to ensure that exemplar sustainable design standards are holistically integrated into a scheme rather than artificially bolted on at the end. Our structured process provides a set of metrics that can be tailored to a particular scheme. The metrics are divided into a number of numerical targets within an overall category of environmental impact. These categories typically include metrics for the conservation of energy and carbon emissions, conservation of water, the use of recycled and low-embodied energy materials, biological diversity, atmospheric pollutant impact and elements of social sustainability.

By developing these project guiding principles as bespoke to each project, it allows a number of benefits to be realised. One is that it ensures a consistent approach to the application of benchmarking standards across multiple sub-project teams within the scope of a larger project. This approach allows multiple benchmarking scheme requirements to be addressed in parallel if desired. In addition to benchmarking schemes, these metrics can also be developed to encompass the requirements of the local planning and regional planning frameworks. This flexible approach also allows for specific client concerns to be developed and incorporated in a clear and consistent manner.

While it is important to generate consistent targets across a scheme, it is also important that they are implemented in a successful and economic manner. At Atelier Ten, our model encourages the use of discipline champions. These champions have the responsibility of delivering sustainable initiatives, with our assistance as the Sustainability Consultant, within their discipline. By encouraging each of the consultants to take ownership of sustainability issues, we have found there is a greater delivery of tangible sustainable scheme initiatives. While assigning targets to disciplines helps identify what it is hoped can be achieved from a scheme, it is vitally important that sustainability targets are met. To aid this process, we use an integrated management process. This tool provides suggestions of how to meet specific metric targets and a summary of the target itself. SIP’s are currently being used to challenge, manage and generally improve the environmental performance of teams working on some high profile projects in the UK including:

  • Chelsea Barracks, a super-prime residential scheme in London
  • Wimbledon 2020, the long-term masterplan for the All England Tennis Club
  • Blossom Street, a mixed-use scheme in the City of London
  • Stoke CBD development for gener8
  • Vauxhall Bondway, a high rise mixed-use project in SE London
  • Wood Wharf, the eastern expansion of Canary Wharf

As an extension of this work we were asked by British Land to work with them to develop the latest version of their Sustainability Brief. As one of the UK’s largest Real Estate Investment Trusts, they acknowledge their environmental and social responsibilities. This Brief is designed to address these considerations during design and construction, encouraging innovation and inspiring teams to work together to have a positive impact on the areas and environment they operate in. It defines advanced measures of sustainability in the built environment and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions.

It was updated to reflect changing approaches to sustainability and to ease implementation with enough detail to allow it to work at all scales and across all project types while reflecting the different needs of these projects. Significantly, we advocated for the inclusion of a ‘Materials Red List’. Missing from earlier iterations, Version 4 now has a list of ‘Recommended Materials’, a list of materials ‘allowed only with British Land approval’ and a list of materials ‘prohibited in any case’. Throughout their lifecycle, materials are responsible for many adverse environmental issues including illness, squandered embodied energy, pollution, and resource depletion.

The idea of the list is to remove and limit the worst known offending materials and practices.
As with earlier Sustainability Brief for Developments, this updated version will now be applied to all British Land’s major property developments, encouraging sustainable outcomes.