Tony Taylor

Communion signs up for the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge

by 26th Nov, 2021

a L shaped house, single storey with a slate roof, full height glazing for the walls and timber columns supporting overhanging eaves. Communion Architects, Hereford.a L shaped house, single storey with a slate roof, full height glazing for the walls and timber columns supporting overhanging eaves. Communion Architects, Hereford.

Communion Architects has signed up to the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge so we can play our part in addressing the global climate crisis.

The Challenge promotes the design of buildings to meet 2030 targets now. It sets the target of achieving the following reductions as soon as possible but as a minimum for projects in operation in 2030:

  • To reduce operational energy demand by at least 60% from current business as usual baseline figures before offsetting.
  • To reduce embodied carbon by at least 40% from current business as usual baseline figures, before offsetting.
  • To reduce potable water use by at least 40% from CIRIA benchmark/Building Regulation figures.
  • To achieve all core health and wellbeing metrics for overheating, daylighting, CO2 levels and emission of VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

These reductions will also form the basis of RIBA’s recommendations to Government for future Building Regulations requirements.

As a signatory to the Challenge, as well as focusing on achieving the targets, we’ll also be helping the wider industry to learn and grow. This is because we’ll submit anonymous data to RIBA about the energy and water use for each of our projects in the first year of their occupation. RIBA has committed to keep all data anonymous and only use it for specific purposes. The information will help RIBA to enhance industry knowledge about trends in building performance, in particular between predicted targets and actual results, as well as identify opportunities for improvement.

What does the RIBA Climate Challenge mean for Communion clients?

We know the climate crisis concerns our clients as much as us. Many are keen to build sustainability measures into their projects already. The Challenge gives us a benchmark to work to.

We’ll be updating our internal processes to reflect our commitment to the Challenge. As always, we’ll work closely with clients from the very beginning of the process to understand the implications of every decision we make together.

Ultimately, our aim will be for all our new build projects to meet the voluntary targets. On extensions and refurbishment projects, we will look to achieve the targets as far as is possible without affecting the historical importance or heritage of the existing structure.

We’re excited about signing up to the Challenge and are looking forward to working closely with our clients to achieve its ambitions.

You can find out more about the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge on RIBA’s website.