Building physics and thermal dynamics drive our ‘Fabric First’ philosophy, where we aim to deliver better buildings through a fully optimised building fabric or envelope.
Put simply, a ‘fabric first’ approach involves maximising the performance of a buildings components and materials that make up the envelope or fabric itself, before considering the use of mechanical services. This can help reduce capital and operational costs, improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions but also the need for maintenance during the building’s life.
We are passionate about sustainability and believe that focusing on the building fabric first is more sustainable than relying on energy saving technology, or renewable energy generation, which can be comparatively more expensive, can have a high embodied energy and may or may not be used efficiently by the consumer.
By optimising the fabric detailing, insulation and window systems, while designing for maximum air tightness and minimum thermal bridging, we aim to minimise mechanical services to deliver better, more sustainable outcomes. Having energy efficiency integrated into the building envelope can also mean occupants are required to do less to operate their building and not have to adjust their habits or learn about new technologies. This can result in less reliance on the end user regarding the buildings energy efficiency.
As we enter into 2019, we have approximately 12 years left (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)) to avoid some of the most devastating impacts of climate change. In terms of scale, this is creating an unprecedented movement that requires a global effort to slash carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, and completely decarbonise by 2050. While buildings are not the only focus of this discussion, they are an incredible opportunity for further carbon abatement.