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Aberdeen architecture firm builds on roadmap for net-zero

David Halliday, of Halliday Fraser and Munro.
David Halliday, of Halliday Fraser and Munro.

Halliday Fraser Munro (HFM), the Aberdeen-based architectural design and planning firm, says all seven of its UK offices and every project it undertakes could be carbon neutral by 2026.

And the company has hired a sustainability specialist as part of its drive towards net-zero.

Chris Antoniou was recruited from Glasgow-based niche environmental design specialist John Gilbert Architects.

He is an expert on building designs which meet the international energy performance standard known as Passivhaus.

Office buildings of the future need to be more environmentally friendly.

HFM managing director David Halliday said: “Our clients are facing change and challenges on a scale they have never previously imagined.

“This will bring challenges across residential, commercial and public sector projects.

“We are talking about ambitious changes in planning, in building regulations, in operational practices, in supply chain pressures  – and, of course, in securing funding for major projects as investors demand higher environmental standards.

“In the midst of all this, our clients still have to deliver commercially viable projects.”

Construction needs to adapt quickly – indeed tomorrow’s buildings are already on the drawing board.”

David Halliday, managing director, Halliday Fraser Munro.

Mr Halliday added: “Construction needs to adapt quickly – indeed tomorrow’s buildings are already on the drawing board.

“We are determined to give our clients the best possible commercially focused advice and support that will enable them to deliver their projects in line with these very significant environmental targets.

“Chris is such a welcome addition to the team. As well as being an accredited Passivhaus practitioner, he is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to sustainable materials and techniques used in construction.”

Offices in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland

HFM was founded in 1993 and now employs 65 people across offices in Aberdeen, Belfast, Dundee, Edinburgh Glasgow, Leeds and London.

The firm works across a broad range of commercial, residential and education projects within the private and public sectors.

New business worth more than £160 million has been secured during the past year alone.

Mr Antoniou is expected to help bring “a relentless commercial focus to make sustainability changes a reality on a far bigger scale”.

HFM’s past projects include the award-winning Marischal Square mixed-use development in the heart of Aberdeen.

In late 2021 the firm launched Replanet, its roadmap to becoming a “leading voice” in reducing the building and construction industry’s impact on global carbon emissions.

Milestones already reached include signing up to the Riba (Royal Institute of British Architects) 2030 Climate Challenge – a series of environmental targets for the sector.

HFM is also among firms that are fully accredited as certified Passivhaus designers.

In addition, the practice has introduced a carbon calculator for all projects, rolled out hybrid working and green travel policies, and invested in low emission company cars.

Chris Antoniou.

Mr Antoniou said HFM’s Replanet initiative was “the final element” that convinced him to join the business.

He added: “HFM has a tangible plan, with clearly defined targets that will see it become a leading voice in sustainable architecture.

“I feel passionately about the responsibilities architects have that go far beyond structure and aesthetics.

“Sustainability, health, wellbeing and tackling the climate emergency is a major part of the responsibilities bestowed upon us.”

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