Sustainability

At Darlings we are dedicated to cultivating vibrant, healthy communities that foster wellbeing. Our vision extends beyond mere structures; we strive to be a forward-thinking studio that addresses enduring value by crafting thriving and sustainable environments that people aspire to work, rest and play in. Committed to responsible business practices with a focus on long term thinking, we actively work towards minimising adverse impacts and maximising positive contributions.

Our process is to carefully consider environmental and social factors that are intrinsically intertwined, to create places and spaces that allow nature and its occupants to thrive. The Darlings sustainability focus group, comprised of our skilled architects, plays a pivotal role in driving these initiatives.

Minimise Embodied & Operational Carbon

Designing for efficiency and performance we look to incorporate passive design solutions that maximize natural light, ventilation, and thermal comfort, reducing reliance on artificial lighting, heating, and cooling systems. To minimise the embodied carbon impact we prioritize the use of environmentally friendly, recycled/recyclable, or locally sourced materials with low embodied energy. We aim to reduce waste, promote material reuse, and select materials that are durable and have minimal environmental impact throughout their lifecycle.

Flexibility & Longevity

We assess the entire lifecycle of the building, from construction to demolition or reuse, considering durability, adaptability, and the potential for future renovations or repurposing to reduce waste and promote longevity.

Biodiversity & Ecological Enhancement

Integrate green spaces, vegetation, and biodiversity-promoting features into the design to support local ecosystems, improve air quality, and create healthier environments for inhabitants and surrounding wildlife.

Fossil Fuel Free and Net Zero Ready

Incorporating energy-efficient technologies, renewable energy sources, and environmentally conscious materials. Additionally, implementing green building certifications, promoting adaptive reuse, and encouraging sustainable transportation options for studio members further contribute to a holistic approach towards reducing carbon footprint in the built environment.

Water Conservation

Implement water-efficient systems such as rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, low-flow fixtures, and drought-resistant landscaping to minimize water consumption and promote responsible water use.

Community Engagement & Social Impact

We strive to create architecture that shapes communities, fostering connections, equity, and well-being through thoughtful design and inclusive paces. Key to success is to involve stakeholders and communities in the design process, address their needs, and contribute positively to social well-being, equity, and inclusivity within the built environment.

Recent Projects

Eden Campus

Eden Campus

Kingston upon Thames

Eden Campus is a major mixed-use development in Kingston Upon Thames. Set to be occupied by British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company Unilever as their global headquarters.

The aspiration of the scheme is to be carbon net zero in operation, with efficient office layouts, high performance insulation, considered material selection and rooftop photovoltaics. In addition to this the scheme will connect to Kingston’s proposed district heating supply.

Sector:  Mixed Use (Office, Residential, Parking)

Client: Cube Real Estate

Sustainable credentials

  • LEED – Platinum
  • Wired Score – Platinum
  • WELL – Platinum
  • SMART – Platinum
  • EPC – A
  • BREEAM – Excellent

 

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The Welcome Building

The Welcome Building

Bristol

The Welcome Building is a major new 292,000 sq ft GIA workplace development in Bristol’s Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, opposite 3 Glass Wharf now The Fairfax.

The Welcome Building is an exemplary quality, multi-occupier building, designed to provide the highest quality working environment in Bristol. The scheme enhances the local area and creates amenity spaces for occupiers and the wider community.

Sector: Workplace (HQ)

Client: Candour (now part of Trammell Crow)

Sustainable credentials:

  • BREEAM – Outstanding
  • WIRED – Platinum
  • WELL – Platinum
  • Targeting EPC rating A through solar energy, thoughtful low carbon materials and low energy building services
  • The rooftop photovoltaic will offset 74 megawatt hours each year and we’ll be looking at reducing water consumption by 40% throughout the Welcome Building’s operational use.

 

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Axtell Soho

Axtell Soho

Soho, London

With Axtell Soho Darling Associates and the entire design team have demonstrated that substantial, viable, and sustainable renewals of existing buildings can be achieved without major disruption to the public and economic life of the city and simultaneously deliver outstanding workspace and contribution to the streetscape.

Sector: Workplace

Client: Cube Real Estate

Sustainable credentials:

  • BREEAM Very Good
  • Floor to floor heating and cooling versatility
  • Low energy heating and cooling by air source heat pumps
  • Upgrading the external fabric thermal performance
  • Building Emissions Rate of 53.39 kgCO2/m2/annum
  • Retention of existing structure with lightweight, low carbon steel/CLT addition
  • Adding biodiversity with landscaped roof terrace
  • Passive measures for lighting (PIR and LED specifications)
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Explore, Richmond

Explore, Richmond

Richmond

Now extended and refurbished, Explore in Richmond Town Centre provides 44,530 ft2 of world class headquarters office and associated car parking, all within a high quality landscaped setting. The building has been carefully designed to respect Richmond’s heritage, improve the public realm and address the energy efficiency of the building.

Sector:  Workplace

Client: Barwood Capital & Moorevale

Sustainability Credentials:

  • 7,500 sqft of Amenity
  • BREEAM – Excellent achieved although targeting Outstanding
  • Wired Score – Gold
  • EPC – A
  • FitWell – Targeting 2 star rating
  • Net Zero
  • New VRV air conditioning
  • 12 l/s fresh air supply per person
  • Added biodiversity replacing G parking with a 4,300sqft fully landscaped design including green wall
  • New 4th floor with roof terrace
  • Passing measure for lighting
  • Introduction of smart building sensors
  • Embedded passive design principles to optimise the building envelope performance and reduce the energy demand of the building
  • Electric car charging points
  • All electric heating and cooling HVAC with no fossil fuels on site
  • Water consumption strategy to reduce potable water demand and attenuate storm water run-of
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Camp Hill Birmingham

Camp Hill Birmingham

Birmingham

Darling Associates have designed a scheme that regenerates a 4.2-acre plot Camp Hill, in Digbeth near Birmingham city centre into a dynamic mixed use scheme.

The scheme will deliver 550 next generation Build to Rent homes – a mix of one, two and three bedroom generously sized apartments, which is aligned to Goodstone Living’s ambition to create bigger and better homes. Apartments will exceed the minimum size standards required by Birmingham City Council. 

Sector: Mixed use

Client: Goodstone

Sustainable credentials:

  • BREEAM  Excellent for all commercial areas
  • WIRED Gold for all commercial areas
  • WELL – rating TBC

Targeting EPC rating B for all apartments through low energy building services system design, including Photo Voltaic panels roof mounted as a renewable on-site generated energy source.

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Our Footprint

Since 2021 we have recorded our carbon footprint and have created a strategy to reduce this as we progress towards net zero. On this journey we aim to reduce our footprint wherever possible and where we currently can’t we use accredited offsets.

Operationally Carbon Neutral

Darling Associates have achieved operational carbon neutrality, as certified by Plannet Zero, rebalancing our operational greenhouse gas emissions for 2021. We are aware that offsetting is not the solution, however, this is the first step in analysing and taking responsibility for our outputs, with a commitment to a minimum 5% reduction year on year towards 2050. Darlings have invested in Gold Standard carbon credits from a project protecting the Amazon Forest including a habitat for high conservation value species as well as a wind farm project in Karnatka, India, reducing the local reliance on coal generated energy.

 

Sustainability Focus Group

Vision

To formalise the sustainability structure in order to create an accessible office wide knowledge bank of case studies, best practices and new sources of materials. To set up the framework for a DAA project assessment to be carried out internally at important project milestones.

Members:  

Rupert Calvert l David Hurst l James Le Ball l Agnieszka Tarnowska l Athina Athiana l Samantha Litherland l Liana Maltezou l Robyn Harrison-Church