Sustainability was an integral thought when founding the business. Although it has become a given or mandatory within the industry, we have always seen it as vitally important in the bigger picture.
We look inwards as well as outwardly. We make sure we are sustainable as much as possible and educate our staff on how and why. We take this approach with our projects too, keeping abreast of legislative and technological changes to ensure we provide innovative, often award winning solutions that address the environmental impact of all construction challenges. Not just because it is part of our ethos but because increasingly it is what our clients want. We advise on materials, processes, and use the latest developments in sustainable engineering and materials.
We have internal experts who are part of the Sustainability Soundings Board working alongside other businesses in the industry to drive sustainability forward and share ideas and developments. We review our projects with an external consultant – KLH Sustainability – who challenging the way we design, procure, build and maintain our infrastructure.
Embodied carbon and BIM
Elliott Wood has been studying embodied carbon and BIM; we have looked into benchmarking the embodied carbon of our projects by integrating this with our Revit templates. This interesting study has been a great way of using metadata (the “smart” embedded information such as material, volume, tonnages etc.) in our models.
In the new Revit 2017 template, the family for each material type has been updated to include a parameter for the embodied carbon per kilogram of material, the values of which have been collated from published literature.
Our aim is to quickly provide a total embodied carbon assessment for our schemes. More importantly, it will also allow us to show our clients and design teams the environmental impact of different scheme options or specifications (CLT vs steel or CEM I vs CEM II concrete for example).
An example of our studies into sustainability is the assessment of the various specifications of concrete on the Tasman House project. Having put the GGBS replacement levels in the specification into the model, we have saved almost a third of the embodied carbon from a standard 100% OPC mix.
Our Green office
6t CO2 saved through the recycling of our office waste as we’re now zero waste to landfill
538 trees secured from illegal logging through using Cool Earth Coffee
1850kWh Produced by our solar panels. That’s 50% of the office’s power
ISO14001 Accreditation awarded. Environmental Management System standard
The Hub was a collaboration between EW, Ramboll and Arup International formed following the RedR Urban Response Report by John Cosgrove. The idea of the project was to utilise private sector engineering knowledge to provide high-level technical advice to NGOs, filling the skills gap that exists particularly around responding to natural disasters in urban environments.
Our current project is a non-technical field manual for the assessment of structures to form an annex in the MEND Guide for Planning Mass Evacuation in Natural Disasters. The aim of the guide is provide some guidance to non-technical people on the ground to help identify risks in buildings that people typically flock to immediately following a natural disaster for example church halls or schools.
Elliott Wood is also putting together a bid to secure funding form the government for the Hub concept to take it to the next stage.
FabFest was an international fabrication festival hosted by the University of Westminster.
It featured more than 50 student teams working to create innovative cardboard pavilions to facilitate a mini ‘Glastonbury-in-the-City’. The pavilions were made from cheap recyclable materials such as cardboard and were manufactured using a mixture of hand tools and the University’s state-of-the-art digital fabrication machines.
Elliott Wood was involved with two teams, the students being mentored by Elliott Wood engineers Bedir Bekar and James Rushton. From concept to manufacture and installation, Elliott Wood provided high-level design input and advice on manufacture and sequencing however the forms were largely dictated by the students themselves leading to some very impressive structures!