Perkins&Will makes “world first” net-zero pledge for office interiors

By Lucy Ingham

Leading commercial architecture practice Perkins&Will has made a landmark pledge to make all its interior projects net-zero carbon, in what it claims is a world first.

Perkins&Will specialises in providing offices for some of the world’s leading companies, with clients including Goldman Sachs, the Financial Conduct Authority and the European Commission.

It will begin offering net-zero embodied carbon or circular design for interior projects from November,  and aims to have half of its projects to by 100% circular by December 2021 and all projects by 2025.

By 2030, Perkins&Will will make all its projects net-zero embodied carbon, demonstrated with a whole life carbon assessment.

Perkins&Will net-zero pledge to help combat building waste

The move is part of a wider environmental strategy by the firm, and is set to have a significant impact on the carbon footprint of projects. The interior fit-out is the cause of 40% of a building’s energy, while waste in the sector is significant, accounting for 300 tonnes of landfill each day.

Even furniture can make a difference, with those made from natural resources accounting for 30% of a commercial building’s whole-life carbon footprint.

“Building on our 2019 net-zero architecture pledge, this net-zero carbon interiors pledge is the next stage in achieving our goal of delivering net-zero embodied carbon buildings,” said Adam Strudwick, principal at Perkins&Will.

“By focusing on the continuous use of resource, circular design principles and supply chain engagement our team will be pivoting to design projects in a new way that will enable us to reach this goal. It is critical that change happens now.”

Perkins&Will net-zero interiors pledge

Core to the plan is not only the engagement of clients, but support across the supply chain – as well as a transition away from simply buying new products for new fit-outs.

“The cycle of replacing fit-out with brand new materials every few years generates massive waste and carbon emissions. New ways of designing and constructing interiors are urgently needed, but they also offer exciting innovation challenges,” explained Sunand Prasad, co-founder of Penoyre & Prasad, a subsidiary of Perkins&Will that is also participating in the pledge.

“Rather than seeing energy, carbon and waste as compliance issues that increase costs and inhibit the imagination, we need to harness creativity and technology to bring zero carbon and the circular economy into the world of fit-out.”

Read more: Virtual doors: Smart building technology to make the office hands-free