RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide

This guide defines a concise measurable set of eight sustainable outcomes that correspond to key UN Sustainable Development Goals and can be delivered on building projects of all scales.

The guide explains each sustainable outcome and their key metrics, and provides design principles to achieve the outcome and describes approaches that can be used to verify performance using post occupancy evaluation and certification. The guide supports architects in taking the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge.

The RIBA sustainable outcomes are:

  • Net zero operational carbon
  • Net zero embodied carbon
  • Sustainable water cycle
  • Sustainable connectivity and transport
  • Sustainable land use and bio-diversity
  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Sustainable communities and social value
  • Sustainable life cycle cost

An outcomes-based design approach will help resolve the now well-known gaps between design intent and in-use performance across a range of metrics by reinforcing the feedback loop between briefing and outcomes, leading to a more sustainable built environment.

Author: RIBA

Publication date: December 2019



National Design Guide

The national design guide sets out the characteristics of well-designed places and demonstrates what good design means in practice.

It forms part of the government’s collection of planning practice guidance and should be read alongside the separate planning practice guidance on design process and tools.

Author: Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Publication date: October 2019


Case Study

Springfield Meadows

The development of 25 homes by GHA member Ssassy Property aiming to achieve net zero in use through energy demand reduction measures and solar PV.

The scheme utilises natural materials such as the Biond hemp-lime system to achieve net zero carbon in construction.

Enhancing biodiversity and the protection of wildlife is also a key aim, achieved through the creation of shared outdoor spaces, a wildflower meadow, orchard and pond.

  • The project has followed GHA member Bioregional’s One Planet Living® framework and has had its One Planet Action Plan endorsed as a Global Leader in One Planet Living by Bioregional.
  • All homes will have net zero energy consumption in use with on-site solar photovoltaics and a connection to green electricity supply when needed.
  • The embodied carbon from construction is net zero and will save an estimated 1,250 tonnes of emissions.
  • Waste created during the construction process is diverted from landfill and is recycled or recovered.

Key information

  • Project name: Springfield Meadows
  • Location: Southmoor, Oxfordshire
  • Project type: New Build
  • Sector: Residential
  • No. of dwellings: 25 homes (16 privately owned, 9 affordable)
  • Key dates: February 2019 (Start), February 2020 (Occupation), June 2021 (Completion)

Project team

  • Client: Ssassy Property
  • Architect/designer: Greencore Construction
  • Developer: Ssassy Property
  • Contractor: Greencore Construction
  • Engineers/consultants: Greengauge

More information:

Photo credits: Ssassy Property