iRAL seek to achieve in our work better social and environmental design solutions through genuine collaboration and intelligent design.
Every individual in our office and those with whom we collaborate are treated as equals.
We do not believe that hierarchies should exist in an intellectual and creative atmosphere.
We do not allow prejudice to influence the design process, nor do we accept that design apartheid should exist between professionals.
We recognise that the job, not our job, is the essential driver of working relationships.
Our aim is to achieve the very highest standards in design and in the manner in which we undertake our work.
All individuals in our practice are aware that their contributions are vital to the success of the projects that we undertake together for our clients, and that their actions should reflect the highest standards of ethical behaviour.
Our attitude towards others and the society in which we live directly informs the way we work.
iRAL will not accept commissions that we consider may irrevocably damage the environment, involve military activity, undermine successful social structures or engage with authorities that are party to the abuse of human rights.
We are not prepared to compromise our ethical values for profit.
iRAL fully adheres to the Equality Act 2010 on equality and diversity which makes it unlawful to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of race, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marriage or civil partnership status, gender reassignment, disability, religion or belief, age or sexual orientation. All applicants will be assessed solely on merit and ability.
iRAL has formal ISO 14001: 2004 accreditation.
Our commitment is to:
- Continuously improve our environmental performance and integrate environmental management best practice into our practice operations;
- Reduce our consumption of resources and improve the efficient use of those resources;
- Measure, review and take action to reduce the carbon footprint of our practice activities to meet our objectives and targets;
- Manage waste generated from our practice operations according to the principles of reduction, re-use and recycling;
- Manage our practice operations to prevent pollution;
- Give due consideration to environmental issues and energy performance in the planning and design of buildings, urban design and landscape design;
- Ensure environmental, including climate change, criteria are taken into account in the procurement of goods and services;
- Comply as a minimum with all relevant environmental legislation as well as other environmental requirements to which the practice subscribes;
To meet our commitments we will:
- Provide management oversight and review environmental policies and performance, and allocate resources for effective direction and implementation;
- Set and monitor key objectives and targets for managing our environmental performance at least annually;
- Communicate internally and externally our environmental policy on a regular basis, and encourage feedback;
- Communicate the importance of environmental issues to staff;
- Work together with our staff, professional colleagues, and suppliers to promote improved environmental performance;
- Promote consideration of sustainability and environmental issues in the services we provide to our clients;
- Review our environmental policy regularly.
Environmental objectives will be established early with a client in order to address particular sensitivities and provide an agreed reference framework for the design team.
iRAL has been committed to an environmentally sustainable design approach since the practice was established in 1981. Our projects testify to our philosophy not to waste and to construct buildings that optimise carbon free energy and minimise energy bills.
We investigate and assess and, when appropriate, embrace the latest advances in engineering and environmental technology which are intelligent and relevant.
Since 1990, we have sought to use materials and products that use less energy in their manufacture and use and which require little or no maintenance. Well before sustainability was on any government agenda, Ian Ritchie was lecturing on the subject using his own projects as exemplars, beginning with low-cost, self-construct, passive and active solar energy housing (Fluy 1976; Eagle Rock House 1981). We also designed a zero energy cultural greenhouse (theatre/exhibition space, France 1993) which was the only building finalist in the global Design Sense Award sponsored by Corus and the Design Museum.
Ian Ritchie chaired the launch of the first global book on sustainability ‘Blueprint for A Green Planet’ by Seymour, Girardet and Penney’s, at The Ecology Centre, London, 1987
iRAL considers health and safety at work to be of fundamental importance. We have always strived to create a humane organisation where the welfare of people is of central concern. This applies to our own employees and to those who visit our premises, but it also affects those with whom we collaborate, those to whom we provide our professional skills and the users of the buildings we design. Since operating our Health and Safety policy from 1990 we have had no reportable incidents.
- To issue this Health and Safety Policy and Manual to all staff and to new staff members and to issue further or revised guidance from time to time on safety matters affecting the Practice. Staff are required to read the Policy and Manual and sign the relevant documentation confirming receipt of the issue/revision;
- To consult with staff on matters affecting their health and safety and to provide the opportunity to raise health and safety matters at any time;
- To receive proposals from staff, jointly or individually, for improving the effectiveness of practice procedures and policies relating to Health and Safety;
- To regularly monitor and revise this Policy and Health & Safety Manual as necessary, particularly as the business changes in nature and size.
Policy in relation to employees and persons visiting iRAL premises:
- To provide healthy and safe working conditions for staff and for the safety of clients or other members of the public who may visit the premises;
- To give adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to staff on all aspects of their work to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, their health and safety at work including the safe handling and use of any equipment and hazardous substances;
- To ensure that risk assessments are carried out for tasks that involve new, unfamiliar or unusual activities;
- To ensure that staff are adequately briefed when visiting 3rd party premises, production facilities and construction sites;
- To ensure that all staff visiting construction sites obtain a valid CSCS card;
- To provide and maintain, where necessary, protective clothing and equipment and hard hats in accordance with the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 (SI No. 2209);
- To record all accidents/injuries and notify any major accidents/injuries or work related diseases to the enforcing authority in accordance with current regulations – Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR 95).
Policy in relation to professional services:
- To provide adequate control of the health and safety risks arising from the Practice’s work activities;
- To comply with the requirements of Section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (SI No. 320) that the design and specification of construction, demolition or installation work and the manner of its execution shall be such that safe working conditions are possible for all during the construction phase or after completion;
- To obtain from Clients details of existing hazards or safety policies affecting their specific projects;
- To encourage staff to report health and safety hazards to the Practice Manager;
- To require clients or contractors to discharge in full their duty of care under the Act to staff of the Practice visiting or out-posted to clients’ property or construction sites.