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Building Performance Consultancy of the Year (101 - 1000 employees) Max Fordham

Building Performance Consultancy of the Year (101 - 1000 employees) Max Fordham

Back to 2017 BPA Winners Overview

Sustainability in building design was the founding principle of Max Fordham, which celebrated 50 years in 2016, and remains solidly at its core. This inspiring business aims to deliver beautifully engineered, low energy buildings that work perfectly for the people who use them.

Indeed, delivering exemplar building performance is at the heart of what Max Fordham is all about. Its pioneering approach employs feedback from previous projects to continually improve its designs, and to empower its engineers to be advocates for the people who will use and manage the buildings it delivers.

Through regular post-occupancy evaluation and ‘lessons learnt’ workshops, the business has a deep understanding of how its buildings work in practice. This evidence-based approach enables it to deliver superb, robust designs. Max Fordham is an employee owned business with just over half the workforce now partners, encouraging outstanding engagement among its dedicated and talented people. The business refuses to rest on its laurels and continues to recruit graduates from a wide range of STEM disciplines, and nurtures their progress through to full equity partnership.

Over the past year, Max Fordham has worked extraordinarily hard on developing a ‘building performance strategy’ to create a coherent approach. It has three strands:

• Identify and review: identify best practice via post occupancy evaluation and through sharing engineers’ experiences on recent projects in lessons-learnt workshops.

• Disseminate and embed: share findings with the practice and embed this in its regular work. Refining how information flows through the practice has been a key element of the strategy.

• Communicate and lead: share its approach with the industry.

Undertaking research to push design boundaries and question the status-quo is central to Max Fordham’s ethos. As part of this, it has established a group to drive research and innovation in environmental design, building systems, resource use and experimental architecture. The group has a dedicated budget of around 1% of engineering salary, allowing the business to undertake novel work without burdening clients with undue risk or cost.

It has also hosted many ‘green sky thinking’ events over several years; its employees have spoken at major industry events; it undertakes university teaching, and CPD seminars for architects; it contributes to ground-breaking industry publications, and it participates in important industry groups.

All-in-all, Max Fordham is a virtuoso performer boasting a dazzling array of achievements.