Designing for Net Zero Carbon

With 39% of global emissions coming from buildings and their construction, we need to decarbonise the way we design and build to bring our emissions down to meet net zero targets.

To do this, urgent and ambitious action is required and we, as engineers, architects and consultants have an important role to play.

Achieving Net Zero Carbon through Design

Low carbon solutions sit at the heart of our design approach.

Following our seven stage pathway, we design whole life, carbon neutral projects for our clients. 

Stage 1: Set Strategy and Define Brief

Early commitment to Net Zero Carbon is vital for success.

In the early stages, we work with the project team to:

  • Set carbon reduction targets
  • Secure leadership commitment
  • Appoint a Carbon Champion
  • Challenge and agree the project brief

Aligned with RIBA Stage 1

RPS' Design approach for Net Zero Carbon Stage 1: Set Strategy and Define the Brief

Stage 2: Concept Design

With targets set and commitment across the board, the Sustainability Concept can start to take shape.

Our concept design:

  • Aligns with wider sustainability strategies
  • Considers the whole project lifecycle.

 

Aligned with RIBA Stage 2

RPS' Design approach for Net Zero Carbon Stage 2: Concept Design

Stage 3: Measure and reduce carbon using Life Cycle Assessment

We use our concept design to complete a Carbon Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to:

  • Include embodied and operational carbon reduction targets
  • Determine if offsetting is needed.

 

Aligned with RIBA Stage 3

Stage 3: Measure and reduce carbon using Life Cycle Assessment

Stage 4: Design and Collaboration

Using the LCA, we develop the detailed design to achieve the agreed targets.

Where possible, we integrate BIM, detailing information on materials and systems, to give owners and occupiers valuable insight into the operation of their building.

 

Aligned with RIBA Stage 4

RPS' Design approach for Net Zero Carbon Stage 4: Design and Collaboration

Stage 5: Manage Carbon in Construction

We monitor the carbon impact through construction and recommend regular reporting to verify low carbon targets are being met as the design evolves.

 

 

 

Aligned with RIBA Stage 5

RPS' Design approach for Net Zero Carbon Stage 5: Manage Carbon in Construction

Stage 6: Handover

The journey to Net Zero doesn’t end once the construction phase is complete.

A detailed handover is important to ensure that carbon management is optimised moving forward.

 

Aligned with RIBA Stage 6

RPS' Design approach for Net Zero Carbon Stage 6: Handover

Stage 7: Monitor and report: Performance in use

Annual monitoring and reporting will be required across a buildings life span.

On completion, we ensure carbon performance requirements are factored into facilities management and asset management strategies.

 

Aligned with RIBA Stage 7

RPS' Design approach for Net Zero Carbon Stage 7: Monitor and report: Performance in use
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Hamilton_Jen_20191126(b).jpg

Jen Hamilton

Managing Director - Design +44 (0) 113 220 6190 EMAIL
View profile »
UK | Europe
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Conall Boland

Senior consultant - Sustainability +353 (0) 14882900 EMAIL
View profile »
Dublin - West Pier | Ireland

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