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AJ100 2010 Sustainable Practice of the Year: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The most important criterion for this category was the architectural quality of a sustainable project with pioneering environmental features

Other factors were the integration of low-carbon design into the practice workflow (such as an internal sustainability manual), and the greening of the practice, which was judged in terms of actions such as undertaking ISO 14001 (although one judge at least was sceptical about its value), measuring the office footprint and so on. In addition, the judges considered aspects such as research, building-performance-monitoring initiatives, or involvement with industry bodies.

The winner, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS), has an enviable reputation for sustainability. The judges were adamant that they were not simply rewarding established approaches, but that the practice was continuing to drive forward design and knowledge.

The three projects it submitted all demonstrated this. One Brighton is the first development built in accordance with the One Planet Living philosophy, which looks at issues such as transport and food. The Woodland Trust building in Grantham will pioneer the use of concrete ‘radiators’ to add thermal mass to a timber building. At Worcester Library and History Centre, predicted carbon emissions are less than half those specified in the Building Regulations.

The practice is also creating a website based on the Environmental Primer section of its recent monograph with the University of Westminster. It is the only architect member of One Planet Products, which helps members specify or buy green products.

The judges commented: ‘The depth of knowledge in the firm runs deep, and putting The Environmental Handbook (www.theenvironmentalhandbook.com) in the public domain is very altruistic.’

Criteria

The most important criterion for this category was the architectural quality of a sustainable project with pioneering environmental features. Other factors were the integration of low-carbon design into the practice workflow (such as an internal sustainability manual), and the greening of the practice, which was judged in terms of actions such as undertaking ISO 14001 (although one judge at least was sceptical about its value), measuring the office footprint and so on. In addition, the judges considered aspects such as research, building-performance-monitoring initiatives, or involvement with industry bodies.

Judges

Peter Fisher, associate, Bennetts Associates
Hattie Hartman, sustainability editor, The Architects’ Journal
Adam Ritchie, project engineer, Max Fordham

Shortlist

Hawkins\Brown =45
In two of its projects - the Corby Cube theatre in Northamptonshire and mixeduse development The Wharves in Deptford, London - this practice has managed to combine sustainability with high quality architectural design.

John Thompson and Partners = 97
The practice has created its own sustainable offices in Clerkenwell, London, through conversion of an existing structure, and is also carrying out a post-occupancy evaluation of the building - an important process that is much discussed elsewhere but little implemented.

Atkins 3
As well as having designed a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building as its own office, the practice has undertaken an initiative called RACE in order to raise awareness among staff and improve the energy-use culture of its business.

Stride Treglown 15
This practice is building its own office which will be BREEAM ‘Outstanding’, and has a number of BREEAM ‘Excellent’ buildings, both complete and on the drawing board.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris = 39
In addition to integrating sustainability into the practice workflow (through consultancy with Michael Pawlyn of Exploration Architecture), the practice has received funding from Technology Strategy Board, an organisation that promotes innovation, to develop a web-based passive design tool in conjunction with Arup.

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