As the world becomes increasingly industrialised and global population increases at an exponential rate, conservation of our environment has become a prominent issue. Since the 1992 Rio Declaration, legislation has been passed to ensure that developments consider the needs of future users: the implications of sustainability are now at the core of architectural design.
At AKT II we believe that the structural engineer plays an important role in the successful design of a truly sustainable building. We bring a proactive attitude to each individual project, and are always keen to contribute to intellectual discussions on sustainability. Our points of focus are universal, and measurable – we strive to:
‘Make it last’ – This means ensuring that the end product is flexible, adaptable, and is able to respond positively to all the client’s current and future needs, maximising the design life of the building. We also believe in future-proof designs, enabling the replacement of services to be undertaken without any structural alterations.
‘Add value to the service strategy’ – As the bulk of energy consumed by a building during its lifetime will be as a result of heating and lighting, we see that close cooperation with the architect and services consultant to generate improvements in the design performance of the façade and ceiling is essential. By using materials with high thermal mass such as concrete, we can also minimise heat loss throughout the life of the building.
‘Capitalise on recycled materials’ – By specifying the use of materials such as recycled aggregates and cement replacement by-products in the design of any new building we can make a significant contribution to reducing its embodied energy. Wherever possible, we reuse existing structural elements such as piled foundations or retaining walls.
‘Optimise design’ – Using the latest analytical software, we are able to refine structural designs, thus minimising material wastage. Our extensive experience of off-site and modular construction, together with the use of super-strength materials such as high-performance concrete, high-strength steels and aluminium alloys, can add further value and greater efficiencies.