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HOK’s Gary Clark Authors New RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published a new guide to help its members and the wider profession embed sustainable outcomes into practice.

Gary Clark, a principal for HOK in London and chair of the RIBA Sustainable Futures Group, was the guide’s lead author; RIBA’s Alex Tait was the editor.

The Sustainable Outcomes Guide aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and outlines eight measurable goals that architectural practices can aim for on projects of all scales.

The RIBA Sustainable Outcomes are:

1. Net zero operational carbon
2. Net zero embodied carbon
3. Sustainable water cycle
4. Sustainable connectivity and transport
5. Sustainable land use and biodiversity
6. Good health and well-being
7. Sustainable communities and social value
8. Sustainable life cycle cost

The guide supports the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge, an initiative to encourage RIBA Chartered Practices to achieve net zero whole life carbon for all new and retrofitted buildings by 2030.

“In order to meet the ambitious net zero in all new and retrofitted buildings by 2030, we must employ a thorough method of assessment that can be embedded into practice,” said RIBA President Alan Jones. “The Sustainable Outcomes Guide provides this framework and clarifies the absolute targets for a sustainable future.”

“The RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide offers a clear roadmap to address the climate emergency,” added HOK’s Clark. “The differing complexities of sustainability have been distilled into a set of eight sustainable outcomes, aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with concise metrics that can be measured and verified in use. Only by a rigorous measurement and verification method of assessment can we deliver real and lasting reductions in carbon emissions that not only address the climate emergency, but create beautiful places that are also sustainable.”

In the guide’s preface, Clark emphasizes the urgent need for radical shift in the design profession to deliver a sustainable future: “The Declaration of a Climate and Ecology Disaster by the RIBA and others this year is the change in attitude that I hope will clear away the last remaining barriers. This is our last chance to avert a climate disaster. We must act now.

Download a PDF of the RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide.


Image by © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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