At rhp, we believe that it’s our responsibility as architects to minimise the significant impact that the construction and operation of buildings has on the environment. That’s why sustainable low energy strategies have been at the core of our approach to architectural design for over two decades.
In 1995 our Ionica Building won the RICS Efficient Building of the Year for pioneering a number of passive design systems. These ranged from harnessing the thermal mass of the building fabric to providing low energy cooling without air conditioning, through night and stack ventilation. Our approach, considered unusual and innovative at the time, has since become widely adopted best practice.
rhp continues to develop award-winning low energy designs today, including the carbon-neutral Brighton Earthship and Hastings Enviro 21 projects, the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ laboratories for the Natural Environment Research Council and a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ Visitor Centre for the National Institute for Agricultural Botany.
Consideration for the social, economic and environmental impacts of a building is intrinsic to rhp’s early design process, and at the forefront of our thinking throughout the project life. Early stage environmental modelling enables us to offer performance certainty for our proposed design routes, and we also aim to future-proof buildings, giving them the flexibility to be adapted over time in response to changes in climate, demand for new sources of energy, and developments in technology.
To keep up-to-date with emergent technology, environmental insights and approaches, we run a programme of specialist talks from guest speakers, and encourage our staff to attend external sustainability-related courses and seminars. We also have a dedicated sustainability team, who research and share information on environmental design via in-house design guides, staff seminars and technical consultations. The team is headed up by associate Alex Reeve, who – as a BREEAM ‘Accredited Professional’ with an MSc in Environmental Design & Engineering – also provides expert advice and guidance for rhp projects undergoing a full BREEAM environmental assessment.
rhp is committed to reducing environmental impact of the use of energy and natural resources within our own studios and is accredited under ISO 14001.