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Conference Programme 2023


Low Carbon

15 Nov 2023
Stage 1

City of Edinburgh Council – Addressing an aging education estate to meet its zero carbon agenda
Patrick Brown, Project Manager, City of Edinburgh Council & Alex Reeves, Architect, Architype

The City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) appointed Architype to conduct a pilot study to inform their retrofit approach for education buildings at a city-wide scale in the context of a commitment to achieve net zero operational carbon by 2030 and provide the highest quality learning environments.

Many councils are facing the same conundrum - how to start, how to approach, how to transform aging building stock into effective learning environments while honouring their carbon commitments.

Architype has learned through experience on several flagship retrofit projects such as the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, that retrofitting buildings to meet EnerPHit performance targets can reduce the energy demand by over 80%, delivering energy savings of £1.5 million over the first 15 years alone.

Patrick Brown from CEC will discuss the challenges facing large estates with various building types in meeting climate agendas, the priorities of the education department at CEC and their ongoing commitment to creating excellent spaces for learning with a focus on community and wellbeing. He will detail lessons learned while undertaking the pilot study with Architype, and his experience evaluating the intervention options laid out from the analysis.

Two buildings are now proceeding as retrofit pilot projects and are helping to inform the SFT’s Net Zero Carbon for Public Sector Buildings standard, and he will talk about the challenges of delivering deep retrofits in existing school buildings.

Alex Reeves from Architype will discuss the methodology for analysing 11 building typologies, laying out levels of intervention and quantifying the carbon, operational and performance improvements; analysis which could be applied to a wider estate of several hundred buildings. Other councils have taken the same approach, and building data is being shared communally creating a valuable data set that can be applied to ongoing estate strategies.

Readiness for a Net Zero Estate
Sam Haston, Associate Director, Buro Happold & Jeremy Murgatroyd, Associate Director, Buro Happold

From 2022 public sector organisations in Scotland are required to publish how their spending plans are aligned to targets they have set for achieving zero direct emissions heating, whilst reporting annually and publicly on progress.

In the pursuit of net zero emissions on an estate-wide level, Scottish Futures Trust has identified a need of clear guidance for public sector organisations who want to address decarbonisation on a portfolio basis. Building level Net Zero standards and guidance is an ever evolving landscape, with organisations such as UKGBC, RIBA, LETI, CIBSE and others each publishing standards and methodologies for decarbonisation.

Despite the range of guidance available there remains questions around whether organisations understand what good practice is, on a strategic level, in relation to moving from a governance or policy level to an individual project or building in the transition to a net zero estate.

Buro Happold is supporting Scottish Futures Trust in mapping the landscape for estate-wide guidance, with the aim of addressing some of these gaps in the industry and bringing to life a number of examples where we have helped clients and their estates become ‘net zero ready’.


Steven Anderson, Associate Director - Architect - Scottish Futures Trust
Patrick Brown, Head of Sustainable Construction Delivery - City of Edinburgh Council
Alex Reeves, Architect - Architype
Sam Haston, Assistant Director - Buro Happold
Jeremy Murgatroyd, Associate Director - Buro Happold
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