Feb 10, 2020

Heart of the City

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As part of Studio Egret West’s ambition to create and nurture sustainable communities, we have recently become members of The Heart of the City. This not-for-profit organisation are supporting us to develop a responsible business programme that will help to further the positive impact we can have on people, places and the planet. During 2020 we'll continue to connect with and support our local community, make sure our business practices and projects are environmentally friendly, and improve the well-being of our studio members.

The Heart of the City foundation programme will strengthen and build on our existing approach to delivering social good, which includes:

Working with a variety of educational organisations in a holistic approach, we promote skills and employment in our profession to a more diverse group. We encourage our people to mentor, teach and support young people either during education or in the first stages of their careers, and we offer our studio as a space for training when needed. We also work with the Social Mobility Foundation to offer work placements to students from local schools. Our people continue to develop their skills at our studio and we run in-house training often for our specialist software, such as Revit, or on specific topics, such as designing for health.

Studio Egret West Interior 2

We strive for healthier, safer and more resilient communities through the community outreach we do from our studio and through the places we create. We encourage our people to volunteer with up two days a year paid volunteering leave. And through our Showroom - our dedicated community space - we host workshops, entice debate and seek solutions to tackle societal issues our communities face.

Faultlines Debate Night

We know that protecting and improving the environment is vital to the wellbeing of communities. So, working closely with ecologists, we make sure that our places are sustainable, verdant and embedded in the landscape. Indeed, it’s one of the outcomes of our talented people working together; we’re able to bring to life our vision of place respectful of the landscape it exists in. We’re a signatory to UK Architects Declare and we’re passionate about repurposing buildings, retrofitting to give a second life wherever possible.

A building in its natural landscape fosters resilience and it’s why we promote sourcing of local materials, and plan climate resilient gardens. At our studio, we recycle all the waste we can, use 100% renewable electricity and run an Environmental Management System which is ISO 14001 certified.

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We consider the growth of sustainable regional businesses when developing propositions for our clients. As masterplanners, we have the ability to create frameworks that can offer lower rent for small businesses, co-working spaces and innovation hubs. To support our region, we take care to source our food, drinks and materials needed for our studio from often small, local businesses.

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We aim to promote social innovationin the way that we interact with the communities we’re re-energising. We know that there’s huge importance in community and the people that make it, and it’s through the originality of our engagement with communities that we’re best able to understand their needs. That may be through storytelling, listening projects, or collaborating with other professionals to deliver truly memorable places that surprise and delight.

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Through promoting our profession to a more diverse group, protecting and improving the environment, encouraging the growth of sustainable regional businesses, and promoting social innovation, we ensure that the work of our studio continues to benefit society long after our work is done.

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