On Tuesday 20 March 2012, the Royal Institute of British Architects launched an invaluable new sustainability guide for architects at Ecobuild.

The RIBA Guide to Sustainability in Practice, written by architect and sustainability specialist Lynne Sullivan OBE, is the latest tool in a range of measures the RIBA has delivered in its commitment to supporting the architecture profession and wider built environment industry to meet the UK's carbon reduction goals.

Lynne Sullivan and Bill Bordass discuss the importance and advantages to
building up sustainability expertise within architectural practices, from
RIBA on Vimeo.

The drive towards sustainability in the built environment represents both a challenge and business opportunity for architects. It is something we simply cannot ignore. Our buildings are responsible for almost half of our global carbon footprint and they are dependent upon the world's natural resources. We hope that this guide serves as a helpful step to enable architects to integrate sustainability into their daily practice", said RIBA President Angela Brady.

The business case for sustainability

From the drivers of sustainability through to the current and forthcoming EU and UK legislation and policy context, the guide looks at the strong business case for sustainability and the benefits for clients. The guide also reveals an easy-to-follow 10 step guide to building a sustainable practice from acquiring the knowledge and skills, through to applying the correct project methodology and how to monitor sustainability projects.

The 10 steps, which are explored in detail within the guide, are:

  1. Commit to leadership
  2. Measure your own impact
  3. Benchmark performance
  4. Acquire new knowledge with CPD
  5. Build sustainable knowledge management systems
  6. Develop collaborative project methodologies
  7. Consider the uses of software
  8. Adopt a knowledge management framework
  9. Follow the RIBA Outline Plan of Work
  10. Monitor sustainable projects.