Our Approach

Our 40 years of experience and combined skills underpin our approach to design and our support of clients who are demanding responses in the face of potentially catastrophic climate change and biodiversity loss. 

We are working towards the imperative transition to a zero-carbon economy. Using benchmarks of standard building types within each sector and establishing models of zero carbon buildings for the same, we apply first principles to each new project.

FCBStudios are setting carbon performance targets for all projects currently at planning stage and the inclusion of zero carbon plans for all projects completed from 2025 in order to establish achievable operational performance in use by 2030. 

Our design approach not only targets the direct construction and operational carbon impacts of the environments we design, but considers ways to encourage more ecological, minimum resource use, and carbon positive lifestyles and consumption.

One Planet Living

Since 2004 FCBStudios have been working with Bioregional’s vision for a world where we can all live happily and fairly within the Earth’s resources. We have helped to test the application of the ten One Planet Living Principles within architecture, establishing goals and guidance for achieving environmentally and socially sustainable change.

In 2017 FCBStudios became the architectural founding partners of OnePlanet.com, a web tool that will enable wider engagement with the OPL initiative.

One Planet Living
Zero Carbon Timeline

We are establishing design processes for client carbon targets to be demonstrated at each project stage, incorporated into specifications, delivered on site, and monitored in use. 

By April 2020 all FCBS projects up to RIBA stage 3 include alternative zero carbon plans. 

In 2020 all projects will have One Planet Living Action Plans, and all projects submitted for planning will include an achievable zero carbon plan.

By 2025 all projects completed on site will include zero carbon plans with operational performance targets for 2030. 

FCBStudios’ stage by stage route to Net Carbon Zero is detailed in Explore.

Embodied Carbon Workshop
Embodied Carbon Workshop

Transitioning to zero carbon as a practice: Dr Joe Jack Williams presents at the Architects Declare Embodied Carbon Workshop

Watch video
Regenerative Design

Our ambition on every project is to create positive social and environmental outcomes: improving the functional use of land for local communities, balanced with improvements in biodiversity, and reduced negative impacts from climate conditions and severe weather events. 

FCBStudios are working to establish benchmarks to balance these outcomes in the context of the very different development densities, ranging from rural to inner city.

Regenerative Design
Climate Responsive Design

A conference, run by the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel, in 2019 brought together expertise from across east Africa to raise awareness of climate responsive design.

The design guide builds on the topics covered at that forum, both soft and hard issues, which contribute to improving people’s living conditions and the environment.  

The guide is aimed towards the particular climate and cultural context of East Africa, referring to case study examples from Uganda, Rwanda, the DRC and Malawi. The principles of the Manifesto, however, can be interpreted and applied to different contexts and climate zones globally.

To download the Manifesto please click here

Retrofit First

Retaining, retro-fitting and intensifying the use of existing buildings is a key means to tackle the climate emergency whilst enhancing historical character and social and economic capital. 

The industry has the skills to extend the life of buildings to benefit from the embodied carbon in foundations and built fabric, giving renewed value to existing structures whilst upgrading services and accommodation to respond better to contemporary needs.

Our expertise in historic building conservation alongside our research and knowledge of sustainable design encourage and facilitate creative re-use. Examples of our refurbishment and creative reuse work include Middleport Pottery, University of Bristol Richmond BuildingMurrays’ MillsSouthbank CentreAlexandra PalaceFareham Theatre and the School of Bioglogical Sciences, University of Edinburgh.