In the UK, the construction and use of buildings accounts for over 50% of the carbon dioxide produced. Studies have shown that up to 200kg of CO2 is emitted in the production of each square metre of walling for houses alone – equating to 40 tonnes for the walls of a typical house. At PRO Structures, we strive to design to save carbon and tread lightly on the planet and build this into our proposals whenever feasible. We have green design strategies in place for:
- PRO Structures’ considerations include embodied energy, air emissions and water re-use, as well as responsible sourcing. We also aim to specify from locally sourced materials and suppliers. We have designed several schemes including carbon-saving materials such as insulated concrete form (ICF) and cross-laminate timber, as well as some wholly responsible projects including a rammed-earth dwelling.
Change of use, repurposing and recycling:
- We focus on design choices that enable the recycling or reuse of materials and components at the end of a structures’ service life. Beyond that, we are known for our work in change of use and repurposing buildings, which in itself avoids the carbon emissions from both demolishing existing buildings and using newly-made construction materials.
Design for efficiency:
- We look to simplify designs to provide extra capacity (such as via uniform column design); improved material efficiencies and waste reduction (e.g. through off-site prefabrication).
Design for energy:
- At PRO Structures we recognise that the structural system affects the operational energy use of a building, and so will endeavour to incorporate elements such as high thermal mass to reduce the cooling and heating load.
Design for adaptability:
- Where appropriate, we will look to design for potential re-use of a structure, to expand the service life of the materials used and reduce the embodied energy which would be released by demolition.
Familiar with the requirements of BREEAM certification, PRO Structures will also consider the potential for elements of green design such as green roofs, photovoltaic panels and water run-off and containment.
We will also be happy to work closely with building services engineers to facilitate design to accommodate energy-saving measures such as optimised solar gain or shading, whole building ventilation systems with heat recovery, enhanced air-tightness and maximum insulation.
PRO Structures also seeks to work proactively with local communities to ‘give something back’ by enhancing the standards of the area’s built environment, including building design for:
- Social and private housing
- Public buildings
- Commercial offices
Our track record
We are proud to have carried out sustainable structural design in materials such as cross-laminate timber and ICF, as well as numerous carbon-saving change of use schemes:
- Cross-laminate timber at Shipley Road
- ICF for Hawkfield Homes on Lansdown Ridge near Bath
- Change of use to repurpose both agricultural and office buildings into residential, from city centre (Union House in Trowbridge) to Caerwent’s Farm in Gloucestershire.