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We are passionate about reducing our impact on the environment.

We are passionate about reducing our impact on the environment.

It’s time to take responsibility and reduce the built environment’s carbon emissions. Through clever design and adopting sustainable practices, we can help tackle the climate crisis.

Our aim is to make it effortless for our clients to achieve their targets by demystifying sustainability and delivering solutions that reduce carbon emissions over the lifecycle of a building. Together, we can all make a difference.

Birmingham Institute of Forest Research

Sustainability is important to our team and something that everyone at Glancy Nicholls is passionate about. We currently have two architects who are also Certified Passivhaus Designers, helping to ensure that, wherever possible, our projects are designed to meet the requirements for the highest energy efficient accreditation. Additionally, we continue to invest in systems and education in low energy and low carbon design solutions.

Sustainability should be integrated from the start of the design process and, ultimately, enhance the final scheme.


The built environment is responsible for approximately 40% of the UK’s total emissions. We must reduce this. Moving forward, we will use a life cycle carbon calculator to help define and measure carbon within our projects. By doing this, we can measure and mitigate our impact on the environment.

We strongly believe that good design should be underpinned by sustainable principles, from the integration of environmental, social, and economic concerns into the initial concepts to evaluating supply chains, energy management and materials used.

Architectural External Visual

Rugeley All Through School - Net Zero Carbon

We are passionate about creating sustainable spaces. We believe that, by involving the end users in the design process, it helps to foster a sense of ownership. By collaborating with the wider team, we aim to incorporate biodiversity and green spaces into our designs wherever possible.

We are determined to continue to improve our performance across all our activities and further reduce our impact on the environment. We will encourage, challenge, and educate our clients and wider stakeholders to join us in this effort and, together, we can raise the standard across the industry.

We are proud to lead from the front and, as a business, have achieved carbon neutral status as accredited by Carbon Neutral Britain. But it doesn’t stop there, we are in full support of a Net Zero Carbon Future.

Meadow View Community Care Centre

We are committed carbon neutral business certified by ‘Carbon Neutral Britain’ and we understand our baseline carbon data and carbon footprint we are seeking to continue to reduce and mitigate the carbon produced by our own energy use, travel, and business systems. Alongside this we aim to reduce our footprint with opportunities for using clean energy, reducing the use and need for high emission daily commute.

We also limit our paper printing in the office, printing only when necessary and using electronics means of communication, and when we do print, our printers are stocked with recycled paper. We 3D print our architectural models using recycled PLA, a sustainable and organic printing filament which minimises the use of new raw materials. We collect and recycle old pens, crisp packets, soft plastics and failed or discarded models alongside local recognised recycling schemes (plastics, carboard, paper and metals). It is important for us to recognise the waste we produce within the office and take steps to reduce this, lowering our impact on the environment.

Social Value Next

We passionately believe in social value, and it is promoted by the Board and championed by steering groups, within the studio.

We look beyond the financial cost of a contract and consider how the services that are delivered as part of a contract might improve economic, social and environmental wellbeing. Benefits can improve people’s lives, enhance social identity, enable and foster community cohesion and wellbeing and make informed and ethical choices.

We recognise the role that of our profession, studio, staff, suppliers and client’s can play in achieving greater outcomes for little or no additional cost while maximising value. As Architect’s, it is important to promote key social value principles and opportunities through our designs and projects, either as an independent or through collaboration with others.

Passivhaus Certified Design Next

We have two certified Passivhaus Designers within the GNA studio; Simon Jesson and Aidan Astle, enabling us to work with clients and contractors to design and deliver certified low energy buildings.

Developing schemes using the Passivhaus approach, focuses the design on orientation and overall mass of a building as well as a fabric first approach to thermal performance, air tightness, glazing specification, and ventilation requirements. When considered with the energy losses, this approach provides the building with a balanced energy solution that uses far less energy than a standard building. We look forward to providing sustainable solutions and using this pivotal learning, we will continue to reduce our impact on the environment and reduce energy costs for our clients.

Whole Life Carbon Next

When sourcing materials responsibly and sustainably, we look to take account of the full life cycle assessment and embodied carbon involved in the production and transport of materials. We also look to minimise the quantities of materials used through careful specification and reuse of materials where appropriate.

Using BIM, One Click and other tools, we regularly undertake Whole Life Carbon (WLC) Assessment of our projects, this includes a review of both embodied carbon and the operational energy of the proposals. These tools allow us to accurately predict both the performance and carbon footprint of the proposed works and allow us to determine the best options for materials following interrogation of low embodied carbon solutions. We have recently used this technology on the National Centre for Decarbonisation of Heat and found it to be invaluable in achieving the Net Zero Carbon aspirations for the project.

Design Approach Next

Our focus is on building efficiency, maximising the opportunities for passive
design measures such as building orientation, effective massing, a fabric
first approach to performance and detailing alongside developing an appropriate material palette integrated with the potential for modern methods of construction.

Health & Wellbeing Next

Health and Well Beings intrinsic to our approach to design and how we operate as a studio. Incorporating direct or indirect elements of nature into the built environment have been proven to reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, whilst increasing productivity, creativity and self-reported rates of well-being. Our designs promote healthy and supportive environments through the appreciation and understanding of the surrounding context. The principles of Biophilic design are championed and can be seen through our approach, demonstrated through characteristics as;

- Internal and external views of nature

- Improved air quality, toxins and ventilation

- Acoustic comfort

- Natural materials

- Patterns, colours and textures

- Aesthetic environment with brand recognition

- Psychological and physiological effects of the space

Team Next