Our Approach

In order to drastically reduce the impact of architecture on the climate, we have committed to reach carbon zero on all projects in progress by 2030. 

20 years ago the Earth Centre demonstrated the potential of environmental design principles. Now, our zero carbon timeline sets out a programme to realise this. 

By April 2020 all projects up to RIBA stage 3 have alternative zero carbon plans, by 2021 all projects will have One Planet action plans and all projects submitted for planning approval will include achievable zero carbon operation plans.

 By 2025 our portfolio of projects starting on site will be designed to achieve net zero carbon by 2030. 

To achieve this we are developing zero carbon scenarios to discuss and evaluate with our clients, we are engaged in research on materials, operation and technology which will help us to reach our goals and we are drawing on past projects and lessons learned in these.

Whole Life Carbon Modelling

FCBStudios encourage whole-life carbon and cost modelling alongside the inclusion of operational (soft landings) methodologies into the design process from the start of project briefing to post-occupancy support through the first years of operation. 

Through working with suppliers and contractors we can understand their pressures, designing solutions that reduce their burden. For example, we aim to reduce the production of waste in component manufacture and on site by designing systems to fully use standard material component sizes. We specify products that are VOC-free, significantly reducing the potential environmental damage from waste that has been improperly disposed of.

For us buildings are not just a single point in time, and we consider the ongoing maintenance and end-of-life of our buildings. Through careful selection of components, we can simplify any future waste streams, enabling materials to be split out into constituent materials so that they can be effectively recycled. 

Taking this further, we are looking to systems that will have value at the end of their life, minimising any waste streams that may occur as the building ages.


FCBS CARBON estimates the whole life carbon of a building, to inform design decisions at the early stages of projects. 

Using benchmarked data from the ICE Database and EPDs, the tool is designed to make potential carbon impacts clear to the client, architect and the whole design team from the outset of the design process.

Through an interactive excel sheet, the simple tool calculates the estimated operational and embodied emissions of key building elements from cradle to grave over a 60-year lifespan from a series of non-technical user inputs.

FCBS CARBON is available for free to the industry. Download it here


FCBS Carbon