The Environmental Policy has been developed from a consideration of a number of related issues: damage to eco-systems; scarcity of resources; emissions; energy use; waste; reuse; lifespan and repairability.
These issues inform the design process and all work is produced using ‘best practice’ principles. An outline policy for each project is established in the early stages together with a dialogue with the client in respect of the brief. Cross-project issues raised usually include: impact on the environment should be kept as low as possible; any action that can show an overall saving of energy use to be of positive benefit; re-use and recycling should be encouraged and disposal avoided; comfort criteria for buildings should be critically reviewed with a view to minimising energy consumption and increasing the health of the occupants; and the use of renewable materials and renewable energy resources is to be encouraged.
Within the context of information available, the ‘Environmental Preference Method’ (EPM) is used when assessing product and material suitability. The framework for project specific environmental management systems will cover all phases of the design process and will be aligned to the RIBA Work Stages or equivalent scheme in the country where developed.