Hector Abrahams Architects (HAA) is now a net zero emissions practice, with an audit having only taken ten days. 

“With the assistance of our sustainability expert Dr Ben Slee we reviewed our carbon emissions to see where and how we could reduce our impact on the environment."

"We realised its actually not too hard for an office in the city to be carbon neutral.”

Dr Slee said: “And we hope to source more city-based electric GoGet Cars for appointments and site visits that can’t be walked to.”

“Our firm is already heavily involved in sustainable practices through our work in adapting and restoring old buildings. Building maintenance, repair and restoration extend the life of buildings, lessen the need for new builds, reducing CO2 emissions.”

“But ultimately emissions and environmental impact are caused by people not buildings. It’s also about your relationship to the building and how you use and adjust it to help you be more efficient.”

“There is untapped potential in every structure. In our projects we use monitoring techniques to gain a deeper understanding of a building’s ecosystem, and its strengths and weaknesses in energy efficiency, water management and waste management."

"Using these insights into use and performance we can make changes to management strategies.”

“Steps to produce reductions in carbon emissions and running costs can range from the simple and modest - changing the thermostat setting and opening the windows - to more significant – draft-proofing, water recycling and energy generation.

Mr Abrahams says, "We are always encouraging our clients to reduce their consumption of CO2. But we realised we had to put our own house in order too! We hope by sharing our experience other architecture firms will see how small steps make it feasible to be carbon neutral”.

HAA has also signed up to the global ‘Architects Declare’ but like many other practices wanted to do something more about it.

The Architects Declare initiative is in response to increasing concern about the lack of leadership on tackling the climate crisis.

“We are making our practice and our buildings part of the solution to the climate crisis, not contributors to the problem.”

“And every few months we will review how we can reduce our carbon emissions even further so that we can decrease the need to offset emissions.”