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What does sustainable design mean to Peddle Thorp?

We believe environmentally sustainable design should be applied to projects holistically.

22 February 2016
By Peddle Thorp

The value of environmentally sustainable design (ESD) becomes apparent after a building has been designed and built: only after years of use do the true costs of maintaining, repairing and modifying a building start to emerge.

Excellent architects are those that can balance the sometimes conflicting interests of environmental responsibility and commercial viability during the design process. Peddle Thorp approaches this challenge by viewing sustainability as a holistic goal, rather than an added step.

Inspiring design, economical design and sustainable design overlap at many points, and finding the intersections between what the client wants and what will create a lasting, low-impact building is where the expertise of your architect is needed.

Why pay attention to ESD?

With the growing realisation that natural resources are limited and yet essential for human life, sustainability is firmly on the agenda in most areas of modern western society. Sustainable buildings are those that support ecological health over the long-term. They enable users to reduce consumption and avoid waste.

Importantly, sustainable buildings help businesses save money in operational costs, and demonstrate their values to employees, customers, and the wider community.

Where does sustainable design begin?

At Peddle Thorp we believe many sustainability gains are to be found up-front, at the briefing stage.  Our approach is to take a deeper look at our client’s brief and fully understand the context of each project: the investment, the business strategy, the location, the climate, the surrounding landscape or buildings, and the end users.

Seemingly simple decisions, such as how to orient the building on a site in relation to the sun’s movement, could make a significant difference in terms of the cost of lighting or temperature control. Architects must think clearly and carefully weigh up a wealth of knowledge in order to make the best design decision.

 

Designs that find the right balance

Only by understanding the multitude of factors that influence a project can an architect truly develop solutions that incorporate sustainability while also resolving a client’s specific brief, which may emphasise entirely different objectives.

Getting greener buildings on the ground relies on ingenuity on the part of architects as much as it does on the resolve of clients. We help our clients to define ESD opportunities, find market-ready systems and materials, quantify cost and risk implications, and champion realistic initiatives through the design stages to delivery.