Future-proof solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change

The climate change emergency is the biggest challenge facing our planet

Over 40% of the UK’s carbon footprint is attributed to the built environment, with approximately half of this linked directly to the operational and embodied energy within buildings. At Watson Batty Architects, we recognise our key position and responsibility in helping to reduce further contributions to the causes of climate change. As a practice, we are being proactive through our actions within the ongoing design of buildings to mitigate its impact and have signed up to the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge. This directly addresses the operational energy use, embodied carbon, water consumption, land use, biodiversity and health and well-being of new projects over the next 5- and 10-year periods.

We recognise the benefits to projects by engaging in this process and are actively reviewing the impact our designs and specifications have on these benchmarks, to better help our clients both, define and deliver their own sustainable outcomes going forward. Sustainable design requires a holistic approach, and we follow the key design principles of a fabric-first and robust solution, but also one tailored to each project to maximise the reductions in embodied carbon, minimise operational energy, water consumption and ongoing maintenance and therefore our clients’ future costs.


This ethos resonates in our own office premises in Leeds. Designed by ourselves, the building was awarded the Green Apple Award in 2007 for its energy efficient and sustainable design approach. It includes geothermal heating and cooling systems, a rainwater recovery system, significantly reducing freshwater consumption, natural ventilation and makes extensive use of natural light.

The Practice is experienced in environmental design and has successfully completed a number of projects in recent years that have achieved BREEAM certification, including ‘Excellent’ and ‘Outstanding’ ratings. It has also completed a Passivhaus certified development for the University of Bradford and we are currently developing a net zero carbon design for a new primary school in Nottingham for the DfE.

In addition to our other services, we can offer a sustainability co-ordination role to your project. Leading the design and project team as an enabler, coordinator, and ambassador to not only meet but exceed current and future building legislation and climate challenge targets aligned with the RIBA Plan of Work and Sustainable Outcomes Guide.



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