Wintech Steps Forward with Sustainability
Wintech have committed to taking next steps in achieving net zero carbon emissions across operations by 2023, leading by example, Wintech are looking within their own company to reduce environmental impact first.
Paul Savidge, MD explains; “Our net zero pledge will help each of us view our actions at Wintech, here and now through the lens of the long-term. Paving the way for our engineers and consultants to guide clients and communities to a net zero sustainable built environment.”
Environmental sustainability is becoming more of a significant and pressing concern for humanity and our interactions with the natural environment. Carbon emissions are only one of many contributors of environmental impact but has now become one of the most important. With carbon emissions, we are slowly reaching several global tipping points resulting in what researchers call ‘an existential threat to civilisation’. In April 2021, the UK government set in law the world’s most ambitious climate change target, cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. This would bring the UK more than three-quarters of the way to achieving the global target of net zero by 2050.
According to the UKGBC the built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint. Of these total emissions, building operations are responsible for 28% annually and embodied energy of materials and construction responsible for 11%. The building envelope is the primary environmental modifier and is critical in allowing buildings to minimise energy consumption to reach net zero emissions. The demand for change is unprecedented, and the focus to produce truly net-zero Carbon buildings in both embodied carbon emissions for the materials used as well as the operational emissions in use, in parallel to reach a least cost pathway to net zero, makes it a seemingly impossible challenge.
Associate Façade Engineer and one of Wintech’s Sustainability Leads, Gurprit Bassi believes that the Government need to make meaningful strides within the construction industry to reduce its reliance on carbon: “The UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this November will be the perfect opportunity to showcase the Government’s intent on reducing carbon emissions, including in construction. The recent Part L and Future Homes Standard consultation was derided by some as not going far enough in a number of areas, which is considered as a stepping-stone to making buildings ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025. I hope the new standard, which is to be released later this year will provide meaningful strides to reduce both operational and embodied carbon within buildings. Nevertheless, we should not be reliant on these regulations to start an industry movement. The buildings we design now will be built shortly before 2030 and thus meaningful change is required now”.
Gurprit further states that, “Wintech is placed at an ideal position in the industry to influence and drive this change as a Centre of Excellence for Façade Engineering. Façades form a large proportion of the built mass and are the major deciding factors in the operational energy use for heating, cooling, and lighting. Thus, heavily influencing both embodied and operational energy.
Operational energy and the reduction are well understood and legislated for. However, there is no such clear legislation for embodied energy. It is important that the materials chosen for the façade are sustainably produced and sourced, offer good performance, and can be reused or recycled at the end of their life. Environmental Product Declarations, the documents that convey the embodied environmental impact of a product, are not widely available. But I believe that if the industry creates enough demand for sustainable material procurement, the supply chain will follow.”
“Wintech is proud of its sustainability strategy and how we are working to create an ever more positive impact on our communities, society and our planet through our service and expertise. By liaising with our clients and suppliers at early stages, we hope to spark healthy conversations that lead to sustainable decisions. We aim to lead by example, looking within our own company to reduce our own environmental impact first. Our Head Office has converted to utilising its building energy demands from renewable sources.
Wintech’s own business roadmap is to achieve net zero by 2023, and we are on track on to achieving a 20% reduction by 2022. At Wintech we want to challenge ourselves to find new ways to make a meaningful difference. Our net zero commitment raises the bar and is the right thing to do as a responsible company”.
Above: An image of the London School of Economics. A focus on sustainability was a key element of the design with an aspiration of achieving a BREEAM rating of “Outstanding” with a fully naturally-ventilated approach for most of the building. Find out more on our website.