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Cundall - using One Planet Living to drive sustainability in buildings
Building in a One Planet way
Cundall has a reputation as a global leader in sustainable design, winning several awards for its projects and its business operations.
Founded in 1976 in Newcastle and Edinburgh, this multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy now has more than 20 offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Asia and Australia.
With input from Bioregional it drew up a 12-page Sustainability Roadmap in 2012 based on the ten One Planet Living principles. This set the firm on a journey to sustainability, and its accompanying sustainability policy has been signed by all its Partners.
Since 2012, Cundall has delivered many exemplar sustainable buildings and made progress towards achieving its ambitious One Planet commitments. From office bee-keeping to tackling the balance of women in engineering, it has implemented practical solutions to improve the environmental and social performance of its operations.
Ambitions for 2025
While celebrating its successes, Cundall also acknowledges that more needs to be done to achieve its 2025 goals. In 2015, the firm committed to implementing a range of initiatives relating to the four ‘cornerstones’ of the company: workplace; projects; people, homes and communities; and industry leadership.
Cundall’s roadmap uses the ten One Planet Principles with targets for 2025. So far, at its own offices, the firm has:
- Achieved a 37% reduction in energy use for its Birmingham office compared to a typical office.
- Launched a Sustainable Design Training Programme – the Cundall Diploma. This unique in-house training programme was created to upskill and empower its staff in sustainable design.
- Led a Gold standard fit-out programme for its new London office, which became the first building in Europe to achieve WELL certification as part of the office’s aim to improve employee wellbeing.
- Planted native habitats for insects and birds in courtyards and external areas across 57% of Cundall’s offices.
- Made a commitment to serving 50% vegetarian lunches at company events.
- Started to use 100% recycled paper in its Australian offices with a view to rolling-it out globally.
Spreading the word
Cundall is committed to reducing the environmental and social impact of the buildings it designs. Some of its recent projects include:
- Hong Kong Science Park Phase 3a+b, China: This building won the Grand Prize at the Hong Kong Green Building Awards. It has achieved a 44% reduction in potable water consumption against BEAM Baseline.
- Akzo Nobel, Project Fresco, Ashington, UK: A 20,000m² state-of-the-art paint production facility that provides 18% of its energy via low and zero carbon sources. This has resulted in a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions.
- National Grid Car Park, Warwick, UK: This building has the largest ‘green walls’ in Europe containing more than 97,000 plants and over 20 different species. These are designed to attract bees and butterflies, absorb carbon dioxide and filter rain.
The company also shares its knowledge with the wider industry through its annual programme of seminars, as well as its blog Cundall Conversations which shares stories and lessons learned from its work.
Established in the UK in 1976, Cundall has developed into an international multi-disciplinary consultancy operating from over 20 locations across the globe with over 800 staff.