The climate change-emergency poses potentially catastrophic risks to the biosphere and our way of life on Earth. ‘Net zero’ is a goal we support; without policies that will rapidly transform how we produce and consume energy, pollute, and how businesses operate within society, all our futures are insecure. The challenge is how to change and to help in implementing this goal – a complex, but vitally necessary task which will require rapid changes in human behaviour.
Well before sustainability was on any government agenda, Ian Ritchie was lecturing on the subject using his own projects as exemplars, beginning with low-cost, self-construct, passive and active solar energy housing (Fluy 1976; Eagle Rock House 1981).
Ritchie Studio has been committed to an environmentally sustainable design approach since the practice was established in 1981. Our projects testify to our philosophy not to waste, and to construct buildings that optimise carbon-free energy and minimise energy bills. Since 1990, we have sought to use materials and products that use less energy in their manufacture and during use, and which require little or no maintenance. We designed a zero-energy cultural greenhouse (theatre/exhibition space, France 1993) which was the only building finalist in the global Design Sense Award sponsored by Corus and the Design Museum. Another approach we seek to exploit is using less material. The rehearsal and music buildings of the Plymouth Theatre Royal TR2 realised in 1999 are clad in woven phosphor bronze wire, using one tenth of the amount of copper that would be used with conventional 3mm cooper sheet.
Ian Ritchie chaired the launch of the first global book on sustainability: ‘Blueprint for A Green Planet’ by John Seymour, Herbert Girardet and Ian Penney, at The Ecology Centre, London, 1987
Ritchie Studio has formal ISO 14001: 2015 accreditation.
Our commitment is to:
To meet our commitments we:
Environmental objectives are established early with clients in order to address particular sensitivities and provide an agreed reference framework for the design team.
We assess the purpose behind the client’s ambition and need to build, and the potential environmental and social impact. If in doubt, we do not accept the commission.
We investigate and assess and, when appropriate, embrace the latest intelligent and relevant advances in engineering and environmental technology.