Footprint Architects is a small architectural firm based in Richmond Hill, Bournemouth. In January, we met with Mike Ford, Associate Architect, in their beautiful new office overlooking the sea, to discuss what the business is doing to reduce their carbon emissions. Designing energy efficient and responsible buildings is very important to the company and they have always had the legacy of the buildings they design at the core of their work. This explains some of the fantastic award-winning designs displayed in their office. With sustainability and building legacy playing such an important role in the organisation, Mike was happy to join the BCP Council carbon reduction programme to start to identify and work on reducing the business’ own operational carbon footprint. Having made the move to Richmond Hill in August 2022, Mike has set 2022 as the baseline year for their emissions so that he can see these results of moving premises over the next 12 months of reporting. The move across offices, which has dramatically improved thermal efficiencies, was also accompanied by a switch to an electric company car.
Since measuring their emissions and identifying where most of their emissions came from, Mike and the team have been making some simple changes in the office. Some of these initiatives include switching off appliances overnight, increasing recycling and developing a more accessible cycle to work scheme. As well as these ‘quick wins’ the team have been able to identify some of the changes that will need to be made going into the future. Now that they have begun the carbon accounting journey themselves, Mike expressed that the business’s focus going forward will continue to be honing in on clients that are interested in the sustainability agenda. He also suggested options such as a project pricing structure based on embodied carbon emissions of the buildings, which he calculates using a nifty software linked here. A recent local project that they have been working on is the Environmental Innovation Hub & Visitor Centre at Durley Chine. This building on the beach front is all about improving environmental waste management and creating a space for educating the public about what can be done to create change. It was fantastic to visit this site on such a sunny afternoon.
So overall, Footprint Architects have been able to measure their carbon footprint to start looking at their own emissions, to ensure that they are keeping in line with the sustainable and efficient buildings they are designing. Mike’s advice for businesses looking to start measuring their operational emissions was to just get going and that Climate Essentials is a useful piece of software that you can gain some really great data from, to inform change. You can also communicate to others where you are and the efforts you are making on the ongoing journey to net zero.
Footprint Architects have some ambitious net-zero goals and we look forward to seeing their carbon reduction increasing over time!
Sign up to access one of the limited licences to Climate Essentials now by clicking this link here.
*Sponsored by BCP Council. Eligibility Criteria: you must be based in BCP, have fewer than 250 employees and fewer than 7 sites.