Designing a Sustainable Future for People and the Environment
At Jacobs, we do things differently.
Using de5ign, we will provide solutions that increase Client satisfaction through reduced resource consumption, capital and operational costs, while protecting the long-term health, safety and wellbeing of construction workers and end users, where the environment, climate and sustainability is at the forefront of the design process in consideration of the entire asset lifecycle.
de5ign (pronounced ‘five in design’) provides a consistent approach and a common language to the management of the design process, across our global operations, by applying five behaviors which create sustainable design excellence.
The greatest opportunity to eliminate or reduce risk to the health and safety of the construction worker, end user and to eliminate or reduce impact on the environment lies with the designer. However, there is no consistent legislative approach, guidance or common definitions or processes involving the management of the sustainable design process globally. This leads to inconsistencies in how built environment projects are designed which can have long term impacts on people and the environment.
Considering the delivery of the built environment through a global resource pool, with varying levels of knowledge and experience, a cultural change of improving positive designer behavior towards sustainable design is required to deliver projects which benefit people and the environment over the asset’s whole lifecycle.
Academic Studies: Impact of Design Decisions
The impact of design has been documented in a number of academic studies:
- 60% of fatal accidents on building sites arise from decisions made before construction commences (European Foundation, 1991).
- On review of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fatality Assessment Control and Evaluation (FACE) programme in the United States, 42% of 224 construction industry fatalities were linked to design issues (Behm, 2005).
- Poor design was the cause of 42% of work-related fatalities in Australia from 1997 through 2002 (Mroszczyk, 2014).
- Estimates of both direct and indirect costs related to construction errors vary between 10% and 25% of the project cost (Get It Right Initiative UK, 2019), where 40% of the root causes of construction errors were related to design (Get It Right Initiative UK, 2018).
- The global built environment accounts for 39% of global CO2 emissions (UNEP, 2021) where construction and demolition waste (CDW) accounts for 30% of the total solid waste produced worldwide (Ginga et al., 2020).
- Studies have explored the link between the built environment and mental health. Considering that people spend 90% of their time in buildings, a lack of green space and crowded and noisy places are associated with psychological distress and depression. Conversely, good indoor environmental quality (e.g., thermal comfort, lighting, and natural view) can be conducive to decreased stress and reduced anxiety (Jie Xiao et all, 2022).
de5ign recognizes this global challenge by incorporating the fundamental principles of BeyondZero (i.e. our culture of caring) and PlanBeyond (i.e. our global sustainable business strategy) into our sustainable design process, empowering our designers to leave a lasting positive legacy, to benefit people and the environment.
At Jacobs, we recognize the critical role we play, both in how we operate our business and in the climate action, decarbonization and sustainability solutions we implement, in partnership with our clients, to benefit people and the environment, where every project is a climate response opportunity.
Sustainability at Jacobs means ensuring long-term business resilience and success, and positively contributing toward the global economy, society and the environment. It is not simply about avoiding harm, but about maximizing impact and stakeholder value, and delivering a positive, fair and inclusive future for all in partnership with our clients.