MF: Net Zero

The world is facing a climate and biodiversity emergency. Buildings and the construction industry are responsible for around 40% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions.

For over 50 years we’ve been pioneers in sustainable, low energy and low carbon building design. At the heart of our partnership is a desire to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergency our world is facing. We have created the Net Zero Carbon Guide, a free and open resource, to help the industry navigate the process of achieving net zero carbon for both old and new buildings.

The Guide is a tool for anyone directly involved in the construction of new projects or retrofitting existing buildings. It explains how to achieve ambitious carbon-reducing targets and also acts as an educational tool for students, journalists, and anyone interested in the topic by helping to understand the carbon impact of buildings, and by sharing insights from ongoing research and projects.

Additional to this, MF: Net Zero is our internal task group that is responsible for turning our own words and commitments into actions. We led the agenda for Soft Landings and were part of the UKGBC task group that defined the principles of the UKGBC Zero Carbon Framework. We now want - and need - to push the zero carbon agenda further to bring about real, effective change in the buildings we operate and the buildings we design.

As well as the commitments we have signed up to as part of the ‘Declare’ initiatives and the publication of our Net Zero Carbon Guide, we have put the following words into immediate action:

  • All five of our offices are net zero carbon for operational energy, in accordance with the UKGBC Net Zero Carbon Buildings Framework. We are the first building designers to get this verification. We achieved this by improving the efficiency of our offices, as much as feasible, and then offsetting the remaining amount of carbon that our operations emit (read more here).

  • On projects we include a net zero carbon service at no additional fee. We provide this service based on the ‘Net Zero Carbon Buildings - A Framework Definition' approach developed by the UK Green Building Council. As part of this service we:
  1. facilitate a workshop
  2. set out a schedule of design specific targets
  3. produce an Energy and Carbon Risk Assessment
  4. providing operational energy use benchmarks to compare with the Part L compliance model

This service aims to provide clients with a clear understanding of the impact of their design decisions, and provide pragmatic and sensible routes to making their buildings net zero carbon. With targetted effort this should be achievable for a broad range of projects and budgets. Additional to this, we are also able to offer more detailed net zero carbon support and analysis to help them action which includes advising on embodied carbon and incorporating the benefits of circular economy, building information management and quality assurance, as well as enhanced level of aftercare to optimise the operational performance.

We hope all of this will help our positive impact go beyond just our own buildings and projects.

If you’d like to know more or find out about what we can do for you, please get in touch. We've been working with a number of our collaborators to help them understand what more they can do to help deliver net zero carbon buildings - if you'd like an initial chat or presentation, let us know. Or if you'd like to be notified when tools and resources are added to this page, please provide your email address here.

Deeper Thinking
Our Offices: Net Zero Carbon 2021-22
Our Offices: Net Zero Carbon 2020-21
Max Fordham House - Net Zero Carbon
Net Zero Carbon Guide
We're Net Zero Carbon!
Carbon Offsetting – friend or foe?