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Meet: Deepthi – PLP’s Sustainability Coordinator

Can you introduce yourself and the work that you do?

Hi, I’m Deepthi. I’m an Architect with a specialisation in Sustainable Design. My role at PLP is to help to inform early-stage design in the eyes of sustainability. It’s about ensuring that our buildings make a positive impact on users and on the environment at the same time. My work is very varied, I work on all different scales and different typologies of buildings. At the moment, a lot of my work is outside of London in Japan, South Korea and the Middle East.

What role does innovation play in your work?

I work a lot with PLP Labs and our computational design teams, from measuring the carbon emissions of materials in research proposals to developing software that improves our workflows. I use a range of different tools when thinking about daylight, solar radiation and wind analysis, all of which drive the design. Most results from building performance analysis are very technical from the sustainability side, so I have been exploring different technologies, including AI, to see how we can communicate technical results in a more palatable way.

What would you say are some of the most pressing issues the industry needs to focus on, and how are you trying to tackle them?

Considering the global climate crisis that has worsened globally by the day, we really need to make sure that all our work is deeply rooted in sustainable design principles and putting those first, such as circularity and whole life carbon.

I feel personally motivated to tackle environmental issues within our industry and I am involved with several sustainability organisations to push us closer to the goal. One of these is the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) who do a lot of work in driving us towards net zero by educating the community. I am also a Steering Committee Member for the UK Architects Declare (AD), a Working Group Coordinator at the Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), and I volunteer with the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI). These organisations help me connect with like-minded individuals, help me promote ideas about sustainability within PLP, and also share some of the things we’ve done with the wider community.

What motivates you?

Working with everyone in the office towards the goal of creating truly sustainable buildings is, in itself, very exciting. Different people have various interpretations of terms like net zero, so part of my role involves raising the level of understanding across the office. This ensures we’re all on the same page and pulling in the same direction. I enjoy educating colleagues and seeing these concepts reflected in their designs. Recently, I worked with the team on our winning entry for Korea’s National Meteorological Center, the Korean Government’s first net zero building. This success, which will significantly impact the country’s approach to sustainable building, is incredibly rewarding. It makes me feel like I’m making a genuine difference through my work.