Project: BREEAM Outstanding for Kingston School of Art 
Project: BREEAM Outstanding for Kingston School of Art 

Haworth Tompkins’ major refurbishment of Kingston University’s Mill Street Building for Kingston School of Art has been awarded BREEAM Outstanding, with a score of 86.2%.

BREEAM provided a structure for benchmarking and assessing the sustainability aims with the team paying attention to measures reducing energy use and CO2. BREEAM was supplemented by Haworth Tompkins’ own sustainability toolkit, with further priorities incorporated relating to wellbeing, adaptability and resilience.

The design prioritised passive measures, increasing north-light to studios, solar shading to the South, upgrading the thermal performance/airtightness of the envelope and replacing inefficient building services and plant. These measures combined to deliver a 52% reduction in operational CO2 emissions. The existing brick, steel and concrete shell was re-utilised resulting in 1.5 million kg of embodied CO2 being ‘locked up’, compared with building a replacement structure.

Deep sculptural window surrounds and fins were designed to reduce peak solar gain to the South. A vapour control layer was added to all external walls and roofs and lapped with new glazing EPDMs to form a continuous seal.

The building remained in partial occupation throughout a multi-phased construction stage, reducing the need for costly and inefficient decanting, and allowing core technical workshop facilities to be available to students throughout.

Design studios include a core infrastructure of pinboard walls, exposed service grids, suspended power modules, sinks, data points, furniture alcoves and pivoting walls, allowing adaptation to changing needs without the wasteful re-planning that previously took place annually.

At roof level 800sqm of green roof were introduced to enhance biodiversity and attenuate rainwater run-off, avoiding the need for introducing additional rainwater outlets. The building sits on the flood plain so measures including rainwater attenuation, permeable paving and flood-resistant materials on ground floor were incorporated.


A BRUKL model was utilised to undertake a Life Cycle Assessment utilising the IMPACT embodied carbon database and assessing the ‘cradle-to-grave’ impact of materials based on their estimated volume to aid specification choices.

Since completing the Mill Street Building Haworth Tompkins have been working with the University on masterplans for the three main campuses, and co-hosted an Estates Sustainability Away Day with a focus on setting ambitious goals for reducing energy use, enhancing biodiversity and changing behaviours.


We are signatories of Architects Declare, and these are the actions we are taking in response to those commitments

Studio: Our Carbon Footprint Report 2019 

The current climate and biodiversity emergency highlighted by the Architects Declare movement – now celebrating its 1 year anniversary - has prompted individuals and organisations to become aware and take responsibility for their impact on the environment.

As founding signatories of the AD declaration, HT have started to calculate their office carbon foot­print with the aim to find ways to reduce it, and then to offset the remaining carbon emissions in a way that is meaningful for the environment.

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Research: Sustainable and regenerative design: reading list, research and design tools 

Here are our suggestions for a broad reading and research list - including articles, books, databases, tools and guides to help understand the problems and the solutions. Please click for link:


Regenerative Design

We fooled ourselves that sustainability was getting us where we need to go - Michael Pawlyn, Dezeen

Doughnut Economics - book by Kate Raworth


Circular Economy

Design for a Circular Economy - Mayor of London/Good Growth Primer

UKGBC Guidance on Circular Economy

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Studio: Haworth Tompkins - Climate Emergency Response 

We are co-founders of the Architects Declare movement launched in May 2019.

Click here for a summary of our actions, events and activities organised as a response to the climate emergency

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Studio: Passive House Training 

In a bid to adopt more regenerative design principles, and to design architecture and urbanism that goes beyond the standard of net zero carbon in use, a third of our architects are receiving specialist training this week, focusing on Passive House.

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Advocacy: Future Homes Part L consultation 

Haworth Tompkins are supporting LETI’s response to the Part L consultation, focusing on the need for:


- improved fabric performance requirements
- use of metered energy (kWh/m2yr) as principal metric for performance evaluation
- retaining the power of Local Authorities to set carbon reduction targets beyond Building Regulations

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Advocacy: The London Energy Transformation Initiative 

Haworth Tompkins are an organisational supporter of the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI), a network of over 250 built environment professionals who are working together to put London on the path to a Zero Carbon future. LETI have lobbied for policy change and their recommendations have been included in emerging London Policy. These recommendations include energy use disclosure, use of updated carbon factors and whole life carbon assessments for referable schemes.

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Event: Rethinking the way we design and work 

‘Rethinking the way we design and work’ was the theme of a day held by Haworth Tompkins focusing on the Architects Declare emergency goals and commitments. We acknowledge that addressing the AD goals will require an important change in our design process, and in our studio, and this was an excellent opportunity to get everyone in the office involved in the discussion.

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Project: The Den - a low-carbon portable, community theatre 

Minimum environmental impact and social equity are at the heart of the design that composes this super-lightweight theatre.

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Advocacy: Architects Declare 

The twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are the most serious issue of our time. Buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.

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Event: Exploring Doughnut Economics 

Steve Tompkins and Beatie Blakemore recently attended a workshop at Hawkwood College led by Kate Raworth and Juliet Davenport, looking at how businesses can meet the needs of people within the means of the planet. The workshop explored the principles of ‘Doughnut Economics’ – a concept developed by Kate Raworth that has been widely influential amongst sustainable development thinkers, progressive businesses and political activists. Juliet Davenport is founder and CEO of renewable energy supplier Good Energy.

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Project: Offsite construction for Osco Homes 

Transportation associated with construction site activities, material delivery and waste removal account to just under 40% of total energy use within the construction industry. At Baycliff Road our houses are constructed off site as separate wall, floor and roof cassettes and then assembled on site in typically around 12 hours per house. The construction period on site is much shorter than a traditionally built project and relies on considerably fewer deliveries to site and vehicle movements.

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Studio: HT appoints Head of Sustainability & Regenerative Design 

Diana Dina has recently joined Haworth Tompkins to help develop and lead the practice’s sustainability and regenerative design strategy, balancing practical in-house support/training, external advocacy and independent research. Diana will work closely with the Directors, the Associates and the HT Sustainability Team to focus on progressing a vision and strategy for sustainable and regenerative design and practice including the education of staff, developing and reporting on sustainability metrics, maintaining sustainability resources, and greening the practice operations.

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