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Sustainable construction at its best is derived from the close integration of decisions made by all of the members of the Client, Design and Constructor teams, from the earliest days of the project's conception. At Ollio, we enable this team integration to happen within a progressive, enlightened leadership framework.


For clients who are minded to invest in a highly sustainable building, the product must be one that causes the lowest possible impact on the environment. A genuinely sustainable building is one which is;


  • efficient in operation,

  • drives out waste in its design and construction,

  • exploits the advantages of the low embodied energy of its materials,

  • conserves precious natural resources, and

  • protects the natural world.


However, in being all of these things, it is a building which must also be affordable to build own and operate over its lifetime, and will undoubtedly need to demonstrate a reasonable payback period on any increased initial investments made.


Creating a successful sustainability framework

As award winning strategic sustainability consultants with over a decade of experience in the role,  we have developed an essential suite of pick and mix tools to help shape and control an effective yet independent Sustainability Champion leadership process to guide the project and construction teams customised. The essence of each of the components of our framework which can be customised to your project and consultancy budget are as follows: -


1. Sustainability Design Guide

Our process starts with the production and issue of our project specific design guide to provide each of the design team members with what is expected from them for the complete design process. As lead Sustainability Champion, we work with then agree with each of the design disciplines their part in the collective process to the achievement of a sustainable designed, constructed and maintained building.  The guide highlights the key sustainability factors for each design team member and the role they will be expected to play in practical terms.


The Design Guide is supplemented with proactive mentoring and technical advice on what we see the most appropriate direction or rational for the team to take in developing a low or zero carbon strategy. It is usual for us to provide the basis for our advice by reference to our own independent modelling or life cycle analysis, all offered within a helpful and supportive design environment.


Where integration in decisions is required, these roles and responsibilities are cross-referenced with highlighted lead and support stakeholder responsibilities. The progress of the sustainability credentials of the design is monitored at team meetings to maintain team momentum as we move forward.


2. Sustainable Construction Management Plan (SCMP)

Well before the project gets to site, we produce a Sustainability Construction Management Plan.  The Sustainable Construction Management Plan (SCMP) forms part of the sustainability quality control process in compliance with ISO 14001. The plan defines the background to the design, the rationale for the important sustainability decisions made during the design period, and the key benchmarks necessary to deliver sustainable construction from beginning to end of the site phases.

The plan sets benchmarks for:

  • Site Management

  • Considerate Constructors Scheme

  • Induction and Training in Sustainable Practice

  • Waste Management

  • Site Energy

  • Water and Water Management

  • Pollution 

  • Environment

  • Procurement and Supply Chain Management


To ensure that targets are met, we ask constructors to collect and publish data taken from the site via weekly, monthly and quarterly site friendly checklists, as the project moves forward. We review this data as the Sustainability Champion, and as a basis for corrective action should it be deemed necessary to improve the performance or in-use outcomes.


3. Assessment Tool (BREEAM)

BREEAM provides the means to set benchmarks for comparison against those of other similar buildings. It is a respected method of measuring the sustainability of the building.  BREEAM has nine key sectors.


  • Management

  • Health and Wellbeing

  • Energy

  • Water

  • Materials

  • Land Use

  • Transport

  • Ecology

  • Pollution


As sustainability champion we sit independent of the design and BREEAM AP team to elevate the project above the usual box ticking exercise of BREEAM to lead a holistic building delivery process in favour of an affordably green sustainability outcome.  In relation to achieving a high BREEAM score we will assist with the planning of the targeted score, and set in place a review process to monitor the development and progression of credit achievement in conjunction with the BREEAM AP or Assessor.  The achievement of points in all sectors will be incumbent on the whole of the design team.


4. Life Cycle Costing and Embodied Carbon Assessment Tool (ETool)

As well as the energy used by people and equipment in the building, there is also a significant amount of energy tied up in the production of the materials, with its delivery to site and the moving and fixing into position. This energy we call the embodied energy.

eTool is a web-based tool to assist in computing the total embodied energy of a building. The tool developed by eTool LCD will help us to compare different materials. Materials with low embodied energy and extended life cycles can have an advantage over the longer term than those with low first costs; The system also facilitates the quantification of embodied energy thus enabling us to benchmark our building for comparison with other similar building typologies.



5. Feedback, audit and improvement

As Sustainability Champion it falls upon us to pick up and action audits and feedback from the individual project team or the client as the design progresses to the site phases. To ensure that the design process is fully integrated we intend to include: -


  • Workshop with each of the design team members to review this design guide and in particular the roles and responsibilities which are outlined in the sections below.

  • Attendance at all design team meetings from concept to site phases, to monitor actions and provide feedback information across the project teams

  • Provision of day to day support to the team as they require.

  • Proof read all design and construct sections of the contract design deliverable to ensure that there is an integrated approach to sustainability throughout the documents, and offering feedback as necessary.

  • Embrace all of the design and construction sustainability issues with the SCMP such that it supports and underpins the development and construction deliverable.


If you would like to talk to us about how we can help your sustainable project to be the best it can be please do get in touch.


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