Integral Engineering Design have always advocated conservation and reuse, lean and efficient design, and low impact materials to reduce carbon emissions and to use resources responsibly within our projects. With the climate crisis, this has never been more important as we strive to achieve the legislative targets.
The construction and operation of buildings accounts for almost half of the UK’s carbon emissions with around a quarter of this figure being specified in the structure. Engineers play a crucial role in reducing the embodied carbon in our buildings and working with the design team to realise operational improvements.
On our projects we now calculate embodied carbon through the design so we can track the impact of design decisions and make informed suggestions to our clients. We also use this data to benchmark our projects against industry targets and learn lessons on which approaches are most effective in different contexts.
We have delivered projects to environmental accreditation schemes such as BREEAM and Passivhaus and have experience working with lower embodied carbon materials such as cross laminated timber (CLT), straw bales and rammed earth. With close links to the local universities, we are contributing to the research efforts currently being made to improve the materials and processes used in the industry.
We continue to share our knowledge on these aspects, providing CPD talks and presentations to the wider industry to promote and encourage uptake of low carbon options.
Margaret Cooke, one of our directors, has recently co-authored Design for Zero, due to be published by the Institution of Structural Engineers in June 2021.