Responsible consumption of natural resources is yet another key driver for our business. For the better, the World has progressed economically and socially in great leaps since the industrial revolution, but to a point where consumption of the earth’s riches is now destructive and finite.
On a recent commercial fit-out where we were appointed as SKArating assessors, we educated the design team on circular economy aspects of product and material selection. Some examples of our success were convincing the team not to dispose of existing ceiling tiles, but to retain them for future repairs. In the end the majority were donated via Gumtree due to lack of storage space, but these hickuped efforts make a difference and the whole team is learning for the next project.
Existing furniture from the previous office was donated and resold online diverting large quantities of material from landfill and saving tons of carbon through the manufacture of new items. We also supported the project team to strive towards 100% certified Chain of Custody timber across all products, working with the site manager, joinery subcontractors and furniture supplier to chase down timber sources from cradle to gate for site timber, furniture and bespoke joinery specifications.
Where products were not from sustainable sources we had them swapped out and education on why and what this meant environmentally was understood and supported. We also helped the team consider how components need to be disassembled at the end-of-fit-out-life to aid recycling and re-use. This level of thinking happened because, as consultants, we were on board at project briefing and concept design stage and could upskill the team from the start. Designing out Waste workshops hosted by us are where the real impacts get made!
Circular economy thinking has become woven throughout everything we do. We promote recycling/reuse, disassembly, sustainable procurement routes and practices such as FSC and BS standards. On our own design projects, we favour natural, recycled and reclaimed materials. Not only do these have lesser (or in the case of sheep’s wool insulation, negative) carbon footprints and low impact on natural resources, but in the majority of time they feel better and so improve our health and wellbeing.
There’s no wool over our eyes, that’s for sure.
If you’d like to learn more about circular economy, sustainable procurement or embodied carbon in construction products, and how these approaches will reduce your embodied and operational footprints and get you closer to Net Zero goals then reach out and let’s see what we could help you with.
These services here are a good place to start considering what you may need!