Celebrating the Launch of Our Net Zero Carbon Guide

16 November 2020

The big day has come: We have launched our Net Zero Carbon Guide!


The construction industry is responsible for around 40% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions, and the current climate emergency calls for a change in the way our industry operates. Following the verification of all five of our UK offices as net zero carbon for operational energy as the country’s first environmental engineering consultancy, we have developed a free and open resource for the construction industry that provides practical and in-depth knowledge on how we can build net zero and reduce this alarming figure.

Designed to help navigating the process of achieving net zero carbon for both old or new buildings, the Guide will be a useful 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.

The Guide provides practical assistance at any stage in a project’s timeline; from deciding where to start, working out whether or not to retrofit what is already on site, and all the way through the construction process to measuring the carbon performance of a completed building. Essentially, it breaks down projects into the four key stages of the net zero carbon journey: Where to Start, Early Decisions, Designing & Building, and Operation & In-use.

Holistic in approach, the Guide will inform its readers about how to target net zero carbon, taking into account all steps from design stage to occupation.

Providing easily-accessible, simple and practical guidance on how the built environment can actively contribute towards a zero carbon world, our Guide will feature case studies of our projects.

More than 50 years ago, our founder, Max Fordham, was one of the first engineers in the UK to understand the importance of low-energy and low-carbon building design. This has been at the heart of our Practice ever since. 

Recognising that the science, technology, and policy behind the drive to net zero carbon is continually changing, the Guide’s online nature allows for regular updates and ensures it will be a dynamic resource at the pulse of time.

It is designed to be accessible to all and provides critical information in a form that is easy to digest.  As well as providing technical articles and expert opinion, visitors to the Guide will find great contributions from some of our collaborators and down-to-earth advice such as "10 Top Tips for Targeting Net Zero Carbon".

"Our goal for the Guide is simple: We want to help anyone in the property and construction industry who wants to build a more sustainable, zero-carbon future". – Andrew Leiper, Net Zero Carbon Leader at Max Fordham


"This industry is an eco-system of clients, designers, building contractors and sub-contractors who all need to think and act in a new way. This means setting up and driving more mature networks of regulation, finance, knowledge, labour and materials with the expertise and ability to deliver in that new way". - Lord Kerslake, Chair of Peabody and contributor to the Guide