As part of our on-going Feature Friday series we recently spoke to Ana Rita Martins, Senior Associate, Sustainability Lead at Woodalls Design.
WOD: Let’s start off with your background and how you became involved with the workspace sector…
ARM: Before joining Woodalls, I worked as a sustainability architect for an award-winning interior design practice that specializes in the workplace. During that time, in addition to my architect role I also coordinated BREEAM certifications for several office projects.
After spending my spare time researching, attending workshops and expanding my knowledge around buildings and the environment, I developed a perspective that Sustainability must be at the core of designing and constructing every workplace. I then started to create internal sustainability questionnaires, templates and an environmental material library, and was part of a team that helped develop a net-zero roadmap for a renowned advertising brand.
WOD: Could you tell us more about your current role at Woodalls…
ARM: I joined Woodalls to form a global sustainable design framework by implementing several environmental standard practices to the company’s design-and-build methodology.
As a BREEAM specialist with an architectural background, I understand how to incorporate sustainable thinking into our projects, ensuring parameters and clearly-defined results.
I also coordinate the design and construction for environmental certifications (BREEAM, LEED, WELL) to our projects and help to develop the right roadmaps for our clients’ net-zero real estate goals.
To improve our internal alignment and knowledge on sustainability parameters, I consistently review our sustainability design strategy and make sure it’s aligned with the construction and delivery team on site.
I also support the ongoing strategy for ISO 14001 and the strategy to reduce Woodalls’ carbon footprint.
WOD: Why is sustainability is a subject you are so passionate about personally?
ARM: It’s the only way I see we can guarantee that we are preserving our natural resources for future generations. I can’t imagine any other way for architecture to evolve if not in a sustainable way.
As designers, we have so much power to change this industry. It’s in our hands to develop strategies that reduce waste, promote circularity, specify lower energy consumption fittings, point clients towards decarbonised buildings, and consider the embodied carbon of our supply chain choices.
When several workplace fit-outs happen over the course of a building’s lifespan, we lose control over the carbon footprint. It’s time for a longer-term, more sustainable approach, and I want to contribute to this positive shift.