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Building Performance Consultancy (over 300 employees)

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Building Performance Consultancy of the Year (over 300 employees)
Recognising the consultancy that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the delivery of buildings that have high levels of measured building performance and user satisfaction throughout their operating life.

Winner: Buro Happold

According to this year’s judges, Buro Happold is the company our industry should aspire to be.
Crowning it Consultancy of the Year in the over 300 employees category, they said project engineering and performance lessons form the basis of all that Buro Happold does.

With more than 40 years’ experience in building design and post-occupancy evaluation, and 1,900 staff in 24 locations around the world, Buro Happold was praised for a holistic view that draws back into wider sustainability, reaching beyond the standard engineering offer.

Indeed, it has set itself high net-zero ambitions. Having declared a climate emergency, the firm encouraged others to do the same by launching its Engineers Declare platforms – on which 359 engineering organisations have so far committed to deliver net-zero carbon. In 2020, it launched the first global Buro Happold
sustainability report committing its business operations to be net zero by April 2021, a goal it is on track to achieve. It is aiming for all new buildings to by net zero in operation by 2030 with all projects achieving net zero by 2050.

It is a Pioneering Delivery Partner for the Design for Performance initiative, an early signatory to the World GBC Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, active in the CIBSE Energy Performance Group and Health and Wellbeing Working Group as well as the new Knowledge Generation Panel. They are also leading contributors to the Society of Façade Engineering and its work on façade safety.

Collaboration is central to the success of its projects, and the company employs a variety of techniques to promote it. One example can be found in its extensive work with C40 Cities around the world

Judges also praised Buro Happold’s innovative tool development, offered open source to industry, and funding new research through its PhD programme. In 2020, it invested significantly in machine learning (ML) to rapidly evaluate, optimise and categorise building design data on a massive scale.

Staff training and development is comprehensive and based on project lessons. ‘With Covid-19 and the climate crisis, 2020 has been critical for investing in our staff, whilst maintaining focus on building performance,’ it said in its submission.
 
This funding included training staff in Passivhaus, CIBSE LCEAs, NABERs and advanced HVAC simulation, producing operational energy modelling ‘how to’ guides and investing in IAQ monitoring equipment for deployment on POEs.
 
Shortlist
AECOM
Hoare Lea
RED Engineering Design