We enjoyed bringing you recorded interviews from Footprint+ so much that we have decided to bring you a bonus episode!
To kick off this bonus episode, Pete the Builder spoke to Andrew Waugh about using timber in construction
Andrew is a founding director of Waugh Thistleton Architects, an architecture practice dedicated to designing buildings and places of the highest architectural quality that acknowledge their impact on the environment.
Andrew is a world renowned spokesman for low-impact materials and methods in architecture. Believing that engineered timber on a global scale can make a vital difference to our planet, Andrew lobbies and lectures internationally, communicating the urgent need for change to mitigate the climate crisis.
He has previously been a guest critic at Yale, Harvard, Parsons and The University of Cambridge, and is on the steering committee of Architects Declare. His session at FOOTPRINT+ was Building in Wood.
Andrew was awarded the RIBA President’s Award for Research for his work on pioneering CLT and has contributed to numerous acclaimed research papers and articles.
Andrew teaches and lectures frequently with a focus on sustainability, timber construction and the future of architecture. Andrew is a member of the steering committee for Architects Declare in the UK and an ardent campaigner for good causes.
“…for the last 20 years, we’ve become increasingly fascinated, even slightly obsessed with the opportunities for building in timber for designing beautiful buildings in timber.”
Founding partners, Andrew Waugh and Anthony Thistleton, met studying architecture at Kingston University in 1991, and established Waugh Thistleton in 1997.
Always interested in developing new ways of building, in 2003 they built their first CLT building, and since then have established an expertise in timber design and construction. Two decades on, their shared spirit of invention unites, and forms the core ethos of the practice, whilst each new architect and each new project helps it to evolve.
Waugh Thistleton Architects is a Shoreditch based architectural practice producing thoughtful and sustainable projects in its own neighbourhood and beyond. The practice is a world leader in engineered timber and pioneer in the field of tall timber buildings.
Waugh Thistleton has experience in delivering a wide range of building types, including affordable housing, private residential projects, offices and commercial spaces, and mixed-use, cultural and leisure.
The quality of their buildings and their commitment to the use of timber construction has earned them an international reputation in environmentally sustainable architecture and design.
Angela Crowther is an Associate Director at Arup. She was a keynote speaker at the event. Her talk was entitled Repurposing existing buildings to save the embodied carbon. Modernising assets to make them more energy-efficient can be done in various ways. For example, one could choose the retrofitting option to make a building fit for purpose for the future.
Angela believes that protecting, celebrating, and reusing what we have already built in the past, into the future is key to solving the climate change emergency.
Within Arup’s property team Angela focuses on complex urban regeneration. She leads multidisciplinary engineering design across masterplans and buildings, from establishing project visions to delivering on the detail. As a keen advocate for sustainability, Angela influences projects to achieve long-term positive outcomes by working closely with her clients to unlock perceived challenges to success.
“The opportunity to immediately save 50% of our carbon budget by protecting and celebrating and reusing what we have already built in the past into the future, rather than starting again”
When it comes to delivering high-comfort, low-energy buildings, the Passivhaus standard is just about as good as it gets. Its stringent and demanding requirements of thermal insulation, air tightness, mechanical ventilation and heat recovery all make it an important tool, however, how can it be delivered cost-effectively? Ann-Marie believes that many people are afraid to adopt Passivhaus buildings due to the myths that surround them.
With a passion for sustainable design, Ann-Marie Fallon is an architect and Certified Passivhaus Designer with nearly 10 years of experience in the industry. She is one of the UK’s leading experts on Passivhaus design, successfully delivering an award-winning and UK’s largest Passivhaus residential scheme, Agar Grove. She has a good working knowledge of specialist thermal bridging and hygrothermal and whole-building energy modelling software.
“My context from working with Passivhaus buildings for the last 13 years is that it’s become a bit of a dirty word. You know, clients are afraid of it, design teams don’t want to touch it, contractors are nervous of building.”
Samer believes that achieving Net-Zero ultimately comes down to what local governments and councils in the cities do. He does however acknowledge that there are constraints, the biggest one being money. Despite these constraints, he believes that governments need to be more ambitious in their policies and the delivery of these policies.
“You need the bankers to step out, you need central government to kind of be more ambitious in their policies and the delivery, so it’s a collective effort”
Courtney MacDougall is a project engineer for Vattenfall. Working with the wider project team, she provides technical advice and steers the project through the development and delivery stages.
Before working for Vattenfall, Courtney worked for several different district heating companies, specialising in metering, and billing, through the design and build of projects. She has a personal passion for the ocean and its sustainability.
Courtney personally believes that there is so much opportunity and scope for a greener planet. While on an internship with an oil and gas company she witnessed deforestation and environmental impacts, this is what she claims drove her to work in the renewable sector. Courtney believes that we will achieve our Net-Zero goals faster if we educate more people on low-carbon solutions.
Vattenfall has committed to being Net-Zero by 2030. They aim to protect nature and biodiversity and to use resources sustainably.
“So it’s really that education piece that you don’t need to have a boiler within your house or in your flat, you can have a heat pump”
Dan Epstein is a sustainability leader for Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC). He was a chairperson at the event. His first talk was entitled Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation: Large Scale Solar.
OPDC is currently developing a new community in West London. This 650-hectare site will see the development of 25,000 homes, community facilities and lots of commercial space. A combination of energy demands and the opportunity for large-scale solar is creating the opportunity for real change in the way locally-generated electricity can be used in this community.
Dan’s second talk was about Waste Heat at the city scale. Harnessing the heat generated in urban heat island for our benefit could see us make real strides in our battle with climate change. Dan and his team at OPDC, are developing district heating systems to generate real carbon savings and generate revenue covering in the process.
With nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, Dan’s recent notable assignments include London 2012 Olympics and passing key sustainability learning on to Rio 2016. He possesses breadth and depth of experience having detailed knowledge of sustainability at every level. His projects are often viewed as extraordinary as he turns sustainability policies into real and practical outcomes on some of the biggest and most challenging projects.
“I mean anybody working in this area will tell you there isn’t an answer, there isn’t a silver bullet. If solar was it would be fantastic, so it’s just part of a whole range of solutions”
Usually, funders have set the standards for investing in real estate based on the investors’ needs. However, funding processes have become elongated as variable requirements are evaluated. Together how can we establish norms that are workable and accepted by more investors?
With a personal passion for sustainability, David believes that to achieve our Net-Zero carbon goals we have to embrace change and not be afraid of it. We have to challenge people who won’t change and no longer take no for an answer. He believes that collaboration is key as there is no single golden bullet.
WSP has committed to half the carbon associated with their designs by 2030. As Director and Net-Zero Carbon Lead, part of David’s job is to find ways of achieving this goal. David’s passion stems from a deep-seated desire to rapidly transform the industry into the low-carbon future required in response to the climate emergency, whilst also enhancing the quality of the environment for all to enjoy.
“I think to move the agenda forward we have to be really bold, we have to challenge the status quo”
Dominic Lion is an Associate Director at Gallagher Insurance. He was a keynote speaker at the event. His speech was about, Insuring Timber Buildings. A key barrier that exists to insuring timber buildings is communication.
The degree of communication between designers and insurers means that insurers find it hard to gauge the risk. How can we overcome this barrier? If we want to achieve Net-Zero, Dominic believes that people in insurance need to communicate more with architects themselves to become more educated on the risks and give fair prices.
Dominic Lion is a Chartered Real Estate Insurance Broker for Gallagher Insurance. A self-proclaimed Net-Zero fanatic, Dominic works alongside large Real Estate owners, investors and developers to arrange bespoke insurance solutions for complex risks.
Alongside this, Dominic specialises in Mass Timber Construction and development. He has a passion for sustainable investment and development within the built environment. To further improve the engagement between insurers and the timber sector, Dominic is also on the board of the Structural Timber Association (STA).
“He always tells me in 25 years of being an architect you’re the first insurance guy I’ve ever spoken to. I’m very flattered but that also to me is kind of endemic of the problem”
Dougal Alexander Fleming is the Director of Alistair Fleming Design. His primary professional drive is to understand and implement sustainable business growth practices. He believes that while profit is the bedrock of most business decisions, quality of life is the purpose.
Alistair Fleming design, make and install high-quality bespoke handmade kitchens and fitted furniture. They do everything they can to minimise their impact on the planet, their timber is FSC Certified and renewable and they use shavings as bedding for their horses.
“How do we give back more than we take? Which for the construction industry is a really difficult one to actually grapple with.”
Due to the ease of use, versatileness, and cheapness of concrete everyone loves it. However, currently, the production of concrete accounts for around 5% of global emissions, which is more than any other building material.
Elaine Toogood believes that if we are to achieve our Net-Zero Carbon goals then we must address the biggest contributor. How can we make this much-loved substance into a friend and not an enemy?
Elaine personally believes that concrete as a building material is essential, it does things that other building materials can’t do. It is more versatile than other building materials as it can be used both above and underground. She does however acknowledge that it must be used in a low-carbon way.
With over 25 years of experience, Elaine provides architectural advice, and project and technical guidance related to the use of concrete. She has particular expertise in sustainable and visual concrete. Elaine also sits on working groups for the DEFRA Property Level Flood Resilience Action Plan and The London Climate Change Partnership as well as the RIBA Sustainable Futures expert advisory group. She is also the current Chair of RIBA SE London.
“Actually concrete is really essential. It does things that other materials can’t do.”
Henry Pelly is the Principle Sustainability Consultant at Max Fordham LLP. Henry believes that his background in psychology, environmental design and architecture, gives him a strong basis to provide advice on the design and delivery of buildings and spaces that respond to human needs.
He has a particular interest in how the design of the built environment can improve the quality of life for occupants and the community. As part of his job as a Sustainability Consultant, Henry advises design teams on how they can apply sustainability concepts and methods to produce better buildings.
“Repurposing existing buildings in this next 10 to 15 years is like the most important thing you can do from a sustainability perspective, it is now very difficult to justify knocking down a building.”
Written by: Chloe C