King George Playing Fields Pavilion roof
4 Lansdowne School Lambeth education SWH 10 Park House Sport and Leisure SWH

Sustainable Solutions

Designing with sustainability in mind

As Civil and Structural Engineers, we are aware of the significant impact that construction can have on the environment. The World Green Building Council states that 11% of the world’s global energy related carbon emissions come from the materials and construction process, and some 50% of a building’s embodied carbon can come from the building’s structure. In light of this, we take our responsibility in fighting the global climate crisis seriously.

We are signatories of Engineers Declare and we encourage all those that we work with and for to remain as equally focussed on the challenge at hand.

For all of our projects and with all of our clients, we will explore with you and the project team the opportunities for positive sustainable decisions at the earliest stages of the design process.

Heirarchy of net zero design as interpreted by SWH

Refurbish, Reuse and Upcycle

When we can't not build...

We will work with you to establish the most sustainable options to achieve your requirements. 

This conversation has to begin with refurbishment, reuse and upcycling driven design. 

Scott White and Hookins have extensive experience with refurbishment projects all over the UK and in many instances we know our repeat client’s buildings better than them. Our history and comprehensive experience places SWH uniquely to deliver the Institution of Structural Engineers number one objective: build less.

Image adapted from Hierarchy of Net Zero Design model from Institution of Structural Engineers © 2021

Exterior of Crop Sciences Centre NIAB and University of Cambridge

Exploring Environmental Impact

Build clever

We engage in the conversation from the very beginning. We have a comprehensive Sustainability Briefing Document that feeds into our ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) to promote sustainable design decisions at the earliest stage of the process. Costs to implement remain lowest, when compared to the potential positive design gain.

Using ourbriefing document, we offer our clients a high-level overview of where early decisions in the design process really could have significant impact on the environmental credentials of the proposed project.

We explore options for all phases of a project including:

  • Substructure – making environmentally friendly decisions based on the ground investigation findings, especially regarding ground water, and also suitable options for the foundations and landscaping.
  • Externals and civil engineering – offering drainage strategies, informed by an FRA (if applicable) and where possible, following the Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDS) Hierarchy.
  • Super-structure – ascertaining high-level embodied carbon calculations, once the scope of the building is understood, to assess comparative impacts of different solutions.
Carbon Calculation Sample Reports

Embodied Carbon Calculations

Build efficiently

Low carbon design starts with understanding viable options, so that you can reach your desired embodied carbon target, without compromising on your design requirements.

We carry out calculations to assess the estimated embodied carbon of your superstructure and substructure design, based on your chosen materials. Our software offers detailed analysis and we can work with the team to run comparisons of different material options. This gives you comprehensive data to compare different schemes. We work with you to review the options and make changes to the design where feasible, to lower emissions from the outset of a project.

Receive a high-level overview of where early decisions in the design process could have significant impact on the environment
Sutton Highhams Park view of pedestrian street

Key Sustainability Measures

Minimising waste and specifying low carbon solutions

The advances in sustainable engineering, alongside our extensive experience, means that we can offer you a wide range of sustainability measures, suggestions and solutions to consider and implement on all sizes and varieties of schemes.

Just a small example of sustainability measures we can support you with include:

  • Minimising the surface water run-off and potential watercourse pollution through sophisticated drainage design
  • Reducing construction waste and diverting as much waste from landfill as possible
  • Designing with durability and resilience in mind to ensure maintenance is minimised
  • Sourcing materials that have EPDs and responsible sourcing certifications
  • Offering sustainable transport measures
  • Encouraging our project clients to implement low and zero carbon technologies, such as solar PVs and ASHPs, to reduce their operational carbon.
Kings Walk building with full living wall

BREEAM and Sustainability

Working together and sharing knowledge

Working with SWH, you should feel confident that we know what we are talking about when it comes to sustainability. Our experienced team, including BREEAM and Environmental Assessments Assessors and Advisors, as well as Sustainability Consultants continually support our engineering teams to follow best practice and to learn from the latest innovations and recommendations.

Our in-house team can also support your project to achieve their BREEAM requirements.

We can work together from an early stage to identify how your project will meet the local authority’s policy requirements, and to create a comprehensive Sustainability Statement.

We can also assist you on your own operational carbon reduction journey and talk through your company’s Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and put together your own Carbon Reduction Plan.

Based on BRE’s data for BREEAM Certificates achieved, SWH are one of the top ten of all UK Assessor organisations.
Tell us about your project
Get in touch today to learn more about our Sustainable Solutions services…

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