AHMM successfully gained funding from Innovate UK to form a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources at UCL. KTPs are partly government-funded programmes which encourage collaboration between businesses and universities in the United Kingdom. A KTP enables a business to bring in new skills and the latest academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project.

Our research project used a real world, large scale project with existing ambitious sustainability briefing targets, commercial ambitions and compliance needs as the basis for a comparative study to develop additional design solutions, management strategies and adaptation plans to explore and test net zero carbon targets. Running this in parallel with an existing mixed use building project and involving the client and wider design team facilitated a process to test net zero carbon standards in a commercial setting. The research was supported and informed by teams and clients across the practice’s projects, including knowledge, design and data from British Lands and its design team on a project at Canada Water.

The study examined what a net-zero carbon building could look like in the context of a complex, mixed use, densely developed and commercially driven project. It explored the implications for the development process, for commercial viability, and for the architecture more generally. The outcomes from the research where used to produce our guidance for delivering net zero carbon buildings which we hope will help influence the developing framework of legislation and policy around this topic.

This collaboration is an important part of AHMM’s established and developing approach to sustainability and building performance, and has provided an ideal platform through which to develop and share our approach within and beyond the profession and academia.