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Everyone seems to agree that construction needs to drastically reduce its carbon footprint. This applies to what we build and how we build. Buildings must be easier to heat (not just in theory but in practice) and levels of embodied carbon due to materials and the construction process must be minimised. Government policy is all…

Every new-build school is an opportunity to take a fresh look at what we mean by good design. It’s a chance to cast aside preconceptions and design an environment around the real needs of the learning community. This is essential with new schools for SEND learners. There are many new special needs schools in the…

Sustainable construction is a goal that everyone supports and is a clear direction of travel for the industry. But decarbonising the built environment is a complex issue if we want to create sustainable buildings that also meet the present and future needs of the people who live, work or learn in them. There isn’t a…

The UK is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050. Given the enormous task of retrofitting existing buildings to net zero standards, it’s vital that we don’t add to the burden. New buildings, whether for homes, education, healthcare or commercial use should be designed to deliver the highest levels of energy efficiency. This…

Excellent classroom acoustics promote effective learning for all students. For those with a range of needs they are absolutely essential, which is why acoustic engineering is an increasingly important factor in the design of learning environments for SEND students. The main issues that must be managed through school building and classroom design are reverberation, noise…

The Covid-19 pandemic made us all more aware of the link between good ventilation, hygiene and wellbeing. It isn’t just that stale, poorly circulated air helps airborne germs to spread, it’s also important to regulate CO2 levels to help alertness and concentration. There’s also a well-established connection between natural lighting and effective learning environments. In…

Around the globe there are countless exciting buildings being constructed mainly from wood. Last year, Canada alone, had over 500 mid-rise timber buildings under construction (The Guardian). In France, President Macron decreed that all new publicly funded buildings must be at least 50% wood and that every building below eight storeys in height built for…

There are all sorts of ways that organisations and technologies can claim to be contributing to net carbon zero goals. Isolated actions may have some impact but in the field of construction there are interconnected factors that have to be considered if you want to see the full picture. That’s why we talk about a…