About the company
With_Architecture Studio (previously Donaldson and Warn) was established in 1985. Today, operating from Perth WA, it is a mid-sized design studio with close to 20 employees.
With an impressive record of built projects, the practice has established a reputation for creativity and its contemporary studio. With_Architecture Studio enjoys national and international recognition and publication for design excellence. It has won over 40 awards, including two George Temple Pool Awards: the highest honour for architecture in Western Australia.
*With_Architecture Studio has signed Architects Declare. They’re one of hundreds of Australian firms recognising a climate and biodiversity emergency, and calling for change.
Projects and services
With_Architecture Studio’s expertise spans institutional and civic projects, commercial developments, education buildings, learning environments and campus planning, hospitality and tourism, multi-residential architecture, arts buildings, heritage adaptation, urban design, masterplanning and development guidelines.
Specific services include:
- Masterplanning and urban design,
- Feasibility studies,
- Space audits and space planning,
- Interior design,
- Green building consultancy services.
Climate Active for a sustainable architecture practice
With_Architecture Studio has a strong commitment to sustainable development. Working with Pangolin Associates, the practice received the Federal Government’s carbon neutral certification, Climate Active, in early 2017 (at that time called NCOS). Certification dates from July 2016.
Pangolin Associates provided the carbon footprint (GHG Assessment). Pangolin also assisted with the Climate Active Public Disclosure Document, and carbon credit advice and supply, to offset emissions that the practice could not eliminate from business activities. For credits, With_Architecture Studio selected the WA-based conservation project, Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor.
Pangolin’s trusted partner, GPP Audit, then supplied the requisite independent verification services to complete the application. View the company’s latest Public Disclosure Summary on the Climate Active (then NCOS) website.
Choice of offset projects
After developing an emissions reduction strategy, With_Architecture turned to the team to help decide how to offset remaining emissions. The team voted for Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor. It was a good fit for the practice. It supported a Western Australia-based project, and it also benefited local and Indigenous employment.
Workplace sustainability actions
Prior to the carbon footprint and Climate Active certification, With_Architecture Studio already had effective procedures for office paper, waste and energy usage.
Management encourages staff to print less and use digital mark-up programs. Staff use tablets for digital access to drawings, pictures and other documents. There is also a paperless billing system in place.
Printing procedures are rigorous. A3 and A4 sheets printed on one side are collected for reuse on the second side. A sign at the printer, now Climate Active (NCOS) certified equipment, clearly outlines the procedure.
When With_Architecture Studio rebranded, the firm turned its outdated stationery into notebooks, only used when paper is unavoidable.
There is a commendable recycling program at the company to avoid sending e-waste to landfill. They donate the majority of phased-out IT equipment to a Rotary Club initiative supporting the Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penn. The national recycling service, TechCollect, receives all other e-waste equipment.
With_Architecture Studio also observes a “turn off computer overnight and weekends” policy. To reduce energy use, office staff uses the HVAC system on demand, and are encouraged to do so efficiently.
The practice moved to new premises on William Street in Perth in 2017. The office is fitted with energy efficient LED lighting, and the workspace layout maximises use of natural daylight. Since certification, With_Architecture Studio has reduced emissions by 16 percent.
Due to the new premise’s distance from the main train station, staff commute is a significant emissions factor. With_Architecture installed shower facilities with water saving appliances to encourage cycling and more sustainable travel.
Awareness and education:
Sustainability procedures are part of the QA Introduction Manual for new employees, these are messages promoted to all staff regularly.
Sustainable development beyond the studio doors
The commitment to sustainability extends to the practice’s approach to projects, as well as clients and partners. With_Architecture Studio (then Donaldson and Warn) received the first Green Star Multi-Unit Residential rating in Australia (4 Star) from the Green Building Council Australia (GBCA).
They have also received a 4 Star Green Star rating equivalent for all recent education projects, and – a first – a 5 Star Green Star Communities rating for the Greater Curtin Masterplan.
Benefits of action
2017 marks the first comprehensive, third party carbon footprint, but With_Architecture Studio has measured its own paper, waste and energy consumption since FY 2014/15. These actions have shown results. Energy consumption dropped by 9% and paper consumption by 18% from FY 2014/15 to FY 2015/16.
Future plans include switching to renewable energy sources. The company will continue to improve results through their in-house sustainability processes. This includes:
- Increased recycling and waste reduction,
- Reduced paper consumption and purchasing carbon neutral brands of paper,
- More efficient use of energy,
- Travel to work and business engagements on public transport, on bike, or on foot.
Why With_Architecture Studio chose Pangolin Associates
With_Architecture Studio became the first architecture practice to receive the NCOS [now Climate Active] Carbon Neutral Certification in 2017. With an impressive expertise in measuring, calculating and reducing emissions, Pangolin Associates was a valuable and reliable partner for us to reach this goal.
Pangolin’s approach has been professional, communicative and friendly with their reports providing us with an excellent base to understand our footprint better and reduce emissions further. We are very pleased to be working with Pangolin Associates in the future to maintain our certification.
Madlen Jannaschk, Manager Sustainability and Carbon Neutral Certification