Climate movement wants to make sharing best practice easy

shutterstock_2061658631_COP26 Glasgow

Source: Shutterstock

The COP26 climate summit opened in Glasgow yesterday

Architects Declare, the climate movement begun by 17 Stirling Prize winners, has published a practical guide to designing sustainable projects and transforming practices.

Launched to coincide with the start of the COP26 global summit in Glasgow, it contains more than 60 exemplar projects from practices in the UK and abroad.

Developed by volunteers and reviewed by experts, it is intended to help practices that have declared a climate and biodiversity emergency to convert that into meaningful action and build momentum within their practice.

Future of the Profession

It is intended to be a forum for sharing knowledge and research on an open-source basis and will be updated as understanding of the crisis develops and as industry innovates new solutions.

The first part of the guide is a roadmap providing five steps to transforming a practice.

The second part is a project design guide focused on the fundamentals of truly sustainable design.

It was launched at last week’s Built Environment Summit, organised by the RIBA in association with Architects Declare, by Tara Gbolade of Gbolade Design Studio, a member of the Architects Declare steering group.

Tara Gbolade of Gbolade Design Studio

Source: Gbolade Design Studio

Tara Gbolade of Gbolade Design Studio

Thanking those who had contributed, she said: “Last year our signatories told us they wanted Architects Declare to be more than a moment of declaration. They wanted a supportive network that addressed the lack of knowledge and direction on this journey.”

Ben Derbyshire, a past president of the RIBA, said: “Most architecture practices are small businesses for whom creating a route map to zero-carbon operation and monitoring progress is a serious challenge on top of the day-to-day pre-occupation with project delivery.

“Equally, guiding our clients towards the right carbon-cutting decisions in the cost-conscious and risk-averse world of development is a tough ask. So the practical guidance from the Architects Declare guide as a growing knowledge platform is a real boon for those of us wrestling with the issues.”

Architects Declare was established in 2019 by Steve Tompkins of Haworth Tompkins and Michael Pawlyn of Exploration Architecture, with all Stirling Prize-winning practices becoming founding signatories.

It now has more than 1,000 members and is part of the wider global Built Environment Declares movement which has representation in 27 countries.

Cecilia Sundstrom of David Chipperfield Architects said: “Architects Declare has given fresh impetus to our internal programme of exchange and debate through a series of open forums, reviews and workshops focused on sustainability. These discussions have been invaluable in engaging staff, critically assessing our work and have allowed exciting design opportunities to emerge.”

The AD Practice Guide is available at: