Skip to main content

Wright & Wright is committed to tackling the climate and biodiversity emergencies.  We acknowledge that the construction industry currently contributes to nearly 40% of emissions in the UK and that architects have the agency to help mitigate this.

From the earliest stages of a project, we work with a client to understand their ambitions, their requirements and how they operate.  We then consider how these strands can be synthesised, with an emphasis on how any existing buildings can be optimised to work to their full potential.  This means we often engage in refurbishing and retro-fitting complex, historic structures and have built up an expertise in upgrading listed and historically significant buildings to contemporary standards of performance.

The zero-carbon Library and Study Centre at St John's College, Oxford employs a holistic environmental design strategy.

As well as carefully treating existing structures, as part of our commitment to producing high-quality buildings, we use fabric-first design principles from the earliest stage of the project, optimising a building’s massing, orientation and siting.  This allows us to integrate passive ventilation and optimise daylight to create uplifting environments for people to live, work and study.  We are also adept at integrating contemporary methods of on-site energy and heating generation to our buildings.

Sectional drawing of the Library at Corpus Christi, Cambridge, Wright & Wright.

We are actively engaged in understanding and researching new methods of construction that will decrease the impact of our buildings on the environment, including regenerative practices that encourage the drawdown of carbon from the atmosphere and has a net positive impact on a building’s site and the environment.

We design well-functioning, meaningful, durable and low-energy solutions, using traditional materials in innovative ways, which we hope will look good and work well in 50 or 100 years’ time.

The award-winning Museum of the Home project employs green roofs with native species to enhance the public realm whilst increasing the site's net biodiversity gains.


Passivhaus, BREEAM and Zero Carbon

We are currently working on a number of projects to Passivhaus standards within sensitive historic contexts.  Recently completed projects are being monitored for their performance and energy use to understand their lifetime carbon impact.

Preview the projects.

CGI architectural rendering of a passivhaus designed library with students working at desks

Retrofit and fabric-first

The most sustainable approach is often to maximise the reuse of existing fabric and to retain its most positive attributes.  As part of this we work carefully to understand how the fabric performance of our buildings can be sensitively upgraded and collaborate closely with our clients to maximise the potential of their existing building stock.

Explore our retrofit buildings.

Facade of a brick building behind large trees

Traditional environmental strategies

Long life, loose fit.  Wherever possible, we utilise traditional environmental strategies for the heating and cooling of buildings to embed flexibility and reduce the reliance on mechanical intervention.  We promote renewable heating and cooling technologies such as air and ground source systems.

Learn more about our sustainable projects.

Architectural plans for the design of Lambeth Palace Library.

Estate decarbonisation

We are working with a number of historic estates to evaluate their existing assets to drive down their emissions and to ensure new developments are environmentally conscientious.

See our masterplan and energy centre plans for Lambeth Palace.

Aerial view of Lambeth Palace in London showing several brick and stone buildings and green spaces situated to the south of the River Thames

Wellbeing and biodiversity

As a practice, we are invested in creating inspirational and healthy places to live and work.  We work closely with landscape designers and world class ecologists to ensure that our buildings enhance their context and the flora and fauna have a positive impact on both the immediate and broader environment.

Learn more about our latest project.

Hold text.

Apart from the ethical and environmental drivers, sustainable design is a priority for economic reasons.  Ever since our first passive projects – the Women’s Library and Hull Truck Theatre – three decades ago, we’ve witnessed the enormous financial benefits clients reap from reducing a building’s running energy costs.

Investing in energy efficiency at the outset of planning, selecting durable, long-lasting materials with low embodied carbon, and employing passive design methods are just some of the ways sustainable architecture pays for itself down the line. 

The road to net-zero is made up of choices which enhance the environment and improve our well-being while also saving critical funds that can be deployed elsewhere. 

Sustainability is a rational choice and one which we’re proud to have pioneered since founding our practice.

Clare and Sandy Wright
Founding Partners, Wright & Wright

Architects Declare

Wright & Wright is a signatory to the Architects Declare statement

We seek to:

  • Raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity emergencies and the urgent need for action amongst our clients and supply chains.
  • Advocate for faster change in our industry towards regenerative design practices and a higher Governmental funding priority to support this.
  • Establish climate and biodiversity mitigation principles as the key measure of our industry’s success: demonstrated through awards, prizes and listings.
  • Share knowledge and research to that end on an open source basis.
  • Evaluate all new projects against the aspiration to contribute positively to mitigating climate breakdown, and encourage our clients to adopt this approach.
  • Upgrade existing buildings for extended use as a more carbon efficient alternative to demolition and new build whenever there is a viable choice.
  • Include life cycle costing, whole life carbon modelling and post occupancy evaluation as part of our basic scope of work, to reduce both embodied and operational resource use.
  • Collaborate with engineers, contractors and clients to further reduce construction waste.
  • Accelerate the shift to low embodied carbon materials in all our work.
  • Minimise wasteful use of resources in architecture and urban planning, both in quantum and in detail.
  • Support those who are working for climate justice and strive to ensure equity and an improved quality of life for all.

Learn more about Architects Declare