We have adapted the AJ100 this year to reflect the climate emergency, says Emily Booth
For 25 years, the AJ100 has hailed the UK’s largest architecture practices and recognised and rewarded their many achievements. The power of the AJ100 companies is substantial – and that role and influence is today more important than ever.
Right now, the sector is grappling with the shock of coronavirus. From the pressures of supporting current clients to the challenges of working remotely and seeking out new prospects, it is far from ‘business as usual’.
At the same time, the climate emergency is provoking a rethink about architecture’s role and the impact of construction on the environment. The majority of AJ100 practices have signed up to Architects Declare and are actively striving to improve their practice in terms of sustainable approaches and carbon reduction strategies. Many have supported the AJ’s RetroFirst campaign.
We have adapted the AJ100 this year to reflect both these challenges.
We have overhauled the AJ100 survey to give it a deeper focus on sustainability. We have asked practices a range of new questions about what they are doing and how they are innovating in this area, such as whether they measure the carbon performance of projects, advocate retrofit to their clients over demolition, and undertake post-occupancy performance evaluation.
We’ve also introduced three new AJ100 awards categories: Sustainability Initiative, Sustainability Champion, and Community Impact.
And, in the light of Covid-19, we are changing the format of our coverage. During our AJ100 Data Week, which runs from today (Monday 1 June) until Friday 5 June, we will reveal the practices that make up this year’s AJ100 and analyse the statistics, trends and issues from the survey. Once more, Professor Bruce Tether of Alliance Manchester Business School has crunched the numbers – our huge thanks to him and AJ100 project manager Pamela Buxton for all their efforts.
Later this month we will announce the shortlists for the AJ100 Awards, and we are all looking forward to celebrating the winners in September.
Our congratulations go out to all the companies that have made the AJ100 list – you are part of a resilient profession which is adapting to the current shockwaves. Together you have a responsibility, and an opportunity, to help shape a more sustainable sector.