Footprint+ 2024

Last week, our Director & in-house Passivhaus Designer Nick Strachan attended the annual Footprint+ conference at Old Billingsgate.



  • Nick Strachan, Director

Relocated to London after a number of years in Brighton, the event is increasingly viewed as one of the UK’s most advanced forums for sharing knowledge and promoting strategies for decarbonisation of the built environment. The international conference runs over two days and offers seven stages, each hosting rolling events, presentations and round-table debates. The space is organised into net-zero related key themes, offering platforms for subjects including: material reuse, retrofitting, timber technologies and carbon financing. Further bespoke installations, sponsorship stands and fringe gatherings offer plenty of opportunities for engagement and knowledge sharing.

As well as building on personal connections and meeting a number of our existing clients, consultants and industry friends, we observed a shift this year with more conversation focused on legislation and investment.

Nick comments: “With an increasing drive towards the integration of sustainability and net-zero targets in our project briefs, being part of communities including Footprint+ is essential to evolving our approach to architectural design & masterplanning. In particular, this year’s conference focus on ESG investing and “financing the carbon revolution” struck a cord- our work with Social Impact Funds and Local Authority-led regenerations will become increasingly reliant on financial products which require the disclosure of environmental, social and governance considerations. With more of our projects delivered under SFDR regulations as either Article 8 or even Article 9 products, embedding inherent sustainability objectives is an increasingly important differentiator for securing and delivering project investment”.


As we reflect on the evolution of our portfolio since last year’s Footprint+, with ever more “cut-and-carve” schemes where building reconfiguration and retrofitting is central to the brief, our projects are naturally moving in a direction which is more carbon conscious. For both our reuse and redevelopment schemes, we are pushing for our clients to adopt sustainability strategies not only because it reflects good practice and often financial common-sense, but because we are seeing increasing end-value uplift where environment, social and carbon performance is at their core.

Many of our live projects are now delivering building performance targets which are well above basic regulatory requirements and we are testing designs against recognised standards including BREEAM, WELL, WLCA and Passivhaus.

The importance of decarbonisation and the environment remains high on everyone’s agenda and from a business perspective, the words of Mark Carney seemed as poignant as ever: “Firms ignoring the climate crisis will go bankrupt”.