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As architects we recognise the impact our designs and office activities have on the Climate Emergency and our responsibility to mitigate these. It is essential that we all play our role in creating meaningful transformation within the construction industry. At Hopkins, we are committed to continually reviewing and improving our office operations and have set our carbon reduction targets according to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Our Environmental Management System (EMS) serves as a framework for annually setting, reviewing, and improving our environmental objectives.
Through our designs we pursue the principles of sustainable development, working to minimise environmental impact and improve wellbeing. Our in-house sustainability group acts as a support network providing specialist insight and reviews to design teams. The group also disseminate and skill-share key emerging knowledge, software, and technologies across the practice and drive constant improvement in the way we design buildings.
With over 40 years of experience on pioneering architectural projects, Hopkins has delivered some of the most recognised sustainable and energy-efficient buildings, including the Inland Revenue campus at Nottingham, Kroon Hall School of the Environment at Yale, and WWF's Living Planet Centre.
Our current projects are targeting world-leading in-use efficiencies including a new boarding house for Eton School which is being designed to Passivhaus performance levels. Alexandra McCartney, Director, and Georgia Laganakou, Head of Sustainability, Dominic Wilson, Associate Director, and Shawn Zhang, Architect are Certified Passivhaus Designers.
100 Liverpool Street, our recently completed mixed use building in the City of London utilised elements of the structure and foundations of the original building it was replacing. The Embodied Carbon Assessment for stages A1-A5 was calculated at 389 kgCO2 per m2 which is significantly below current targets for new build office buildings.
Integrating sustainability from the outset is a fundamental requirement to any design solution.
Simple solutions, such as the building’s siting, form and fabric, can have the greatest impact on energy conservation, and often with the least capital cost. Our approach to sustainable design can be summarised below.
Clear strategic thinking from the inception and establishing an ethos of collaboration with the client, consultants, and specialist to focus on the right environmental solutions for the project
Challenging the brief to ensure that the building is no larger than it needs to be, whilst not compromising the full range of uses.
Taking a reductive approach to energy use, exploring passive environmental strategies and drawing on our experience developing , when appropriate, sophisticated building envelopes to minimise energy demand.
Selecting robust, durable and locally sourced materials wherever we can.
Designing with circularity at the forefront of our thinking, to make a building that can be adapted for future uses, where components and materials can continue their journey in the building cycle.
Hopkins Sustainability Design Group
Within the practice, we have a dedicated team of specialist architects with expertise in BREEAM, LEED, Nabers and Passivhaus. They work with the client and design team to help establish an environmental strategy for the project, set energy targets and use whole life cycle costing to achieve the best value in terms of capital cost, running costs, maintenance, and replacement.
We have developed an in-house database evaluating buildings against performance criteria including; operational energy; onsite generation; embodied energy; fabric performance; and water cycles. We use this database to benchmark its trajectory and highlight opportunities and ‘hotspots’ where improvements could be sought. This will allow us to make informed decisions that balance social, environmental, and economic costs and benefits in both the short and immediate term, as well as across the project’s lifetime.
We are committed to continually reviewing and improving our office operations and have set our carbon reduction targets commitments according to the Science Based Targets Initiative to reduce our electricity and gas (scope 1 and 2) emissions by 50% by 2030 and our business travel (scope 3) by 25% by 2025. We are assessing our progress with our annual Carbon Footprint report since 2020 which helps us to understand our impact and the actions required to reduce it.
We are signatories to the UK Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, which has been a driver for setting out our practice roadmap in relation to both designs and operations.
We are members of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), the Passivhaus Trust and AECB, all invaluable sources in setting and reviewing climate action goals for our practice.