You can have high-value, low-impact building solutions that meet your sustainability objectives while creating comfortable, productive and effective environments valued by the people who use them

According to the UK Green Building Council: “Globally, the built environment accounts for 40-50% of natural resource use, 20% of water use, 30-40% of energy use and around a third of CO2 emissions. The new homes, offices and other buildings which the industry designs and develops every year are an opportunity to make sure that the built environment [makes] a positive contribution to the environment, economy and our quality of life.”

We can help you create a high-value, low environmental impact solution that provides a comfortable, productive and effective environment valued by the people who use it. Modelling environmental, technical and economic forces, we can quantify your project’s performance and remove risk at the earliest stages of the design process. Simulation software and research enables us to analyse multiple design options, giving you greater choice in the way that your environment is designed.

Our sustainability services include:



Making a global impact

We work extensively with C40 Cities to generate original research, thought leadership, tools and methodologies and pilot these with cities across the world. Our team led a major two-year programme of technical assistance to 25 global cities to assess the air quality, health and economic benefits of climate action. For C40, we also led a study on the multiple benefits of deep retrofit, including job creation, as well as reduced energy poverty, asthma and cold mortality.

For New York City, we developed the action plan to align the city to principles of the Paris Agreement, reaffirming the city’s commitment to do its part to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Members of our Boston office also contributed to authoring the proposed Net Zero stretch energy code (“E-Z Code”) for Massachusetts, building off the AIA Zero Code.

For Los Angeles County we developed the first Countywide Sustainability Plan and Green House Gas Inventory for the county working extensively with community-based organisations, advocacy groups, County agencies and incorporated cities. We have produced collaborative Sustainability Plans for a number of Universities including University of Pittsburgh, University of North Carolina and University College London. We brought together University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford in a collaborative design sprint on student mental health.

Working with the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA) and Greater London Authority (GLA) we led a technical viability study on connecting existing buildings to 4th generation district heat networks. For the GLA, we also developed the evidence base to set the new ‘Lean’ energy efficiency targets in the London Plan. For Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, we led a tall building energy, daylight and overheating study of 69,000 homes and 17,000 commercial spaces to produce design guidelines for high-rise development. 

Our expert team provides sustainability leadership on some of the world’s largest masterplans, including the Red Sea and KACARE. Examples of our regeneration work includes the New York High Line, Stratford Waterfront at East Bank and the Mayfield masterplan. At every stage of our involvement we ensure responsible decisions are made, putting nature and society at the heart of our approach.

In focus

Delivering net zero carbon strategies

Buro Happold is at the forefront of driving the net zero carbon agenda. Committed to developing and sharing knowledge of this critical issue across engineering and construction, we were among the first signatories to the World Green Building Council Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration. Moreover, Buro Happold has a seat on the steering group for the UK Green Building Council net zero carbon buildings framework definition task group. Our sustainability experts also contribute to the C40 Cities initiative in an advisory capacity.

Our sustainability and carbon management experts help city leaders, developers, building owners and architects create, and deliver, net zero carbon action plans.

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