Designing in a climate emergency
Stanton Williams recognises the complex challenges associated with climate change - the loss of biodiversity, the scarcity of resources and the natural limits of our planet.
As one of the founding signatories of the Architects Declare manifesto, we are committed to minimising the environmental impact and carbon footprint connected to our projects and our activities.
We aim to tackle the climate emergency through long-term restorative action, and by making a positive impact on the natural environment. We are devoted to creating exemplary places, not just for today, but for generations to come.
We believe in architecture that connects the material, emotional and intellectual needs of people with their physical world.
Our designs reflect our passion for understanding the experience of those who inhabit the spaces we create. Every aspect of our work is carefully considered in order to make exceptional places, from the choice of materials and details of construction through to the wellbeing both of occupants and the wider society.
As a practice we are continuously researching and striving to identify more environmentally responsible, integrated, and innovative solutions for all our projects.
We believe in a holistic approach to sustainability, and this is at the heart of everything we do. Delivering sustainable buildings is intrinsically linked to the creation of functional, healthy and efficient buildings that delight their occupants and the wider community.
Our approach is underpinned by the principles of long-life, adaptability, reuse, and effective and considerate use of resources. We create buildings which age well, are resilient and can accommodate transformative change over generations.
We embrace the environmental and passive design opportunities offered by the context. At the earliest stage of each design, we optimise the building form, orientation and envelope in response to the climate and local context. The resulting, integral environmental benefits are significantly more valuable than relying on ‘bolt-on’ renewable energy sources later.
We always aim to challenge sustainability thinking and aspirations within the project team, promoting understanding and exploring opportunities and new approaches.
We are known for our work with existing buildings, a sustainable way to create new spaces and a carbon-efficient alternative to demolition and replacement.
Wherever feasible, we encourage the creative reuse of existing buildings by enabling their adaptable transformation while respecting each building’s past and historical context. Reusing and rethinking space for us is the basis of a wider philosophy – it is about considering future users and scenarios, building in flexibility and adaptability and responsibly using the resources and opportunities we are presented with as architects.
Our sustainability framework
We have introduced a sustainability and responsibility framework across our projects. This supports our goal of achieving whole life net zero carbon, as well as identifying key sustainability priorities for each project.
The framework is aligned with UN Sustainable Development Golas, the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge, UK Green Building Council and the London Energy Transformation initiative (LETI).
It sets targets and performance indicators for projects from early design stages to post- occupancy. Through a combination of monitoring, benchmarking and reporting, the framework measures sustainability performance and captures key data as evidence to assist projects. This process enables us to track, audit and report progress. In this way, we can ensure that valuable lessons learned can inform and enrich subsequent projects.
Sustainability think tank
We have established a sustainability think tank as a catalyst for driving our sustainable design ethos throughout the practice.
The group actively contributes to research and knowledge sharing across the studio. This involves promoting and advancing best practice design approaches, as well as sharing findings on innovative and resilient design and materials.
The goal is to support design teams in their trajectory towards net zero carbon buildings.