Global architecture firm Grimshaw has partnered with BPI Rating, Edge Environment’s tech spin-off and construction material data platform, to co-develop a solution to integrate sustainability and responsible sourcing into the practice’s material selection.
The partnership is designed to assist Grimshaw’s ambition to reach carbon neutrality in their practice by 2020 and deliver zero carbon ready buildings and infrastructure by 2025 and to deliver socially and environmentally regenerative buildings by 2030. This commitment is aligned with global efforts by Architects Declare and the World Green Building Councils’ call to action to reduce upfront embodied carbon.
The firm recently appointed a Global Practice Leader of Sustainability to meet these goals and this partnership with BPI will be part of the Australian operations plan to get there.
“BPI is an industry platform solution to solve a long-standing industry challenge. Our industry is under increasing pressure to improve our compliance and sustainability performance. This puts the burden on our team to carry out significant and time-consuming due diligence and documentation on each product,” says Grimshaw partner Michael Janeke.
“We look forward to working with manufacturers, clients and our builder partners to share the benefits of BPI. Product selection in design comes down to the knowledge and experience of the team. We want to bottle that, combine it with the wider industry data from BPI and share this valuable IP across the business.”
BPI aggregates and structures building product information on compliance and performance standards, sustainability, resilience and manufacturer’s CSR credentials.
By overlaying multiple industry data sources (including eco-label certifications Good Environmental Choice Australia – GECA, Global GreenTag and Declare to name a few), the new system allows architects to research, compare, select products and then build technical specifications sheets and finishing schedules. It also aggregates product material data across all their projects.
The workflow tools and proprietary data from each client and project will reduce the hours of research and documentation on each building and allow Grimshaw to build their own data and Intellectual Property.
“This partnership is an important step for BPI’s ambition for a safer more sustainable built environment. Co-developing the functionality with key partners like Grimshaw ensures that the platform supports current process and tech,” says BPI’s CEO and founder Jonas Bengtsson.
“We can’t expect the industry to change unless we can provide tangible benefits.”
Grimshaw Sydney’s managing partner Andrew Cortese adds: “BPI is an important and valuable tool which will help us to reach our zero net carbon goals. Grimshaw’s commitment is to demonstrate leadership and partner with effective, innovative solutions like BPI to affect immediate impact and change in construction carbon reduction.”
BPI is also working with a number of other industry stakeholders including builders and developers to ensure collaboration, control and transparency amongst all parties from the construction life stages from planning, design specification through to facilities management and maintenance.
By building transparency at each stage, BPI aims to transform the design, specification and purchasing habits of the building industry.
Grimshaw is a global design practice operating worldwide with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Dubai, Melbourne and Sydney employing over 650 staff. The firm recently celebrated completion of the 40-storey Olderfleet commercial tower, merging Melbourne heritage with contemporary workplace architecture.
Lead photo: Recently revealed render of Fitzroy Gasworks senior campus designed by GHD Woodhead and Grimshaw. Image: GHD Woodhead and Grimshaw.
This article was published in the Australian Design Review on the 12th of November 2020.