3 September 2018
By Kirsten Henson
KLH summer roundup
Summer has, this year, been….hot. While we love our ‘low energy’ office that relies on dual aspect, openable windows, mature greenery in the adjacent courtyard and user-operated blinds to block out the afternoon sun, work slowed to a crawl as the heat peaked around 3pm. The only escape from the rising mercury it seemed was an afternoon siesta in a darkened room. Of course, even at KLH Sustainability, where we promote a healthy work/life balance, accommodating afternoon siestas is just not practicable. Although, that doesn’t stop the KLHers asking for a hammock in the office!
The summer heat has been a stark reminder to us all that we have reached the point where the increasing, prolonged summer temperatures experienced in our major cities, cannot necessarily be dealt with through passive design measures alone. Indeed, several of the new residential developments we are working with are challenged to meet the requirements of TM 59: Design methodology for the assessment of overheating risk in homes. This is especially prevalent where the air quality and noise profile of sights limit the potential for openable windows as part of the overheating mitigation strategy.
The good news is, of course, the heat seems to have broken, and with it, a deluge of new enquiries.
Georgios and Kirsten had the pleasure of visiting the Sky campus in Hounslow to discuss sustainable fit-out and refurbishment across the wider Sky portfolio. KLH previously worked with Sky on the design and construction of their new campus for almost 4 years and it was a pleasure to observe the finished product. With its indoor/outdoor cafes, vibrant planting schemes, considered and considerable use of natural building materials such as timber, it is a far cry from the days when the picnic tables used to be squeezed between parked cars and bin stores on asphalt surfaces and sky sports was streamed live from a converted shed.
We’ve also been re-engaging with our Olympic roots, supporting one of France’s largest engineering consultancies in their bid to develop, implement and audit the Paris 2024 Sustainable Development Strategy. We are also starting discussions with one of the major catering suppliers to broadcasting services for major international sporting events – disposable or re-usable, plastic or vegware? Stay tuned!
Carbon is high on the agenda, both operational and embodied. We have received a number of new enquiries around compliance with the RICS guidance on whole life carbon assessment for the built environment as well as the newly introduced Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulations.
And, given the changes proposed in the new London Plan which strengthens requirements for whole life cycle carbon reporting, we expect the enquiries will continue apace!
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news here at KLH. We were hoping to welcome Tercia back this month after her maternity leave, but she has decided to take some additional time off. We continue our efforts to tempt her with interesting projects that could be conducted at home, so watch this space, we are not quite ready to say a definitive goodbye yet! However, our new recruit, Georgios Askounis is now well-settled and starting to develop new service offerings in operational energy modelling and consultancy.
So as KLH enter their ninth year, the future looks full of opportunity. We look forward to establishing new client relationships, as well as nurturing our existing ones, to deliver challenging projects across the globe!