Social Value

We pledge to create positive social impact through our actions and operations.

Interior designers and architects helping students draw during a workshop.

Case Studies: University Bath School of Management

The 13,000m² building has collaboration at the heart of its teaching, learning and wider engagement programme, with 83% of those surveyed through post occupancy evaluations feeling the building creates opportunities to stop and communicate with people. The multi-functional Pavilion space affords fantastic views to the University Park whilst providing multi-level space to exchange ideas and learning or make use of the dedicated study facilities. The naturally ventilated environment boasts 8 new lecture theatres and a 250 seater conference lecture theatre to support a range of teaching methods and promote engagement between staff and students at all levels, whilst achieving an 18% reduction in operational C02 emissions relative to their former building. £28,236 of local value was added through apprenticeships offered on the contract whilst £1.8million of social value impact has been created in supporting start-up and social enterprises in the region.

"The building integrates beautifully with the rest of the campus and the amount of light is incredible! The working space is inspiring for creativity, the openness will help us think outside the box."

- Natasha Birk, BSc International Management student

The Park Community Centre

AWW worked closely with the centre to achieve their aspiration to build upon its successes and secure its home. Our vision was to make the design inclusive, welcoming and well connected; sustainable and ecological; inspirational and creative.

Through listening and learning we were able to establish key drivers and form a concise brief; to create a new identity and to deliver a purpose-built, inclusive facility, a building which could comfortably accommodate the range of organisations currently located on the site, engage learners and users, whilst being flexible enough to meet the changing community needs. 100 hours were spent working with local schools whilst delivering the project, whilst 99.74% of the waste was diverted from landfill. The new building has resulted in a 7.4% reduction in crime within one mile of the site, and has provided a £66,874 measured Social Value impact through delivering enhanced quality of life for building occupants.

Shape My City

As part of our commitment to continually develop our thinking, invest in our team and inspire the next generation of innovators to always raise industry standards, we hosted our first Shape My City event in collaboration with Design West in December 2022. This event comprises a series of workshops held over the course of the year and is an award winning accelerator programme for 15-18 year olds that seeks to change the future workforce of the built environment from a diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities perspective. 30 talented and keen to learn teenagers descended on AWW on the night to learn a little about the industry and inner workings of an Interior Design team in an Architecture Practice. We conducted a workshop which split into small groups, encouraging the students to respond creatively to a ‘client brief’ for a workplace fitout. We used our AWW fitout and pivot + mark refurbishment as a case study and ‘site visit’ for this workshop. The key skills the students were exposed to were: responding to a client brief, developing ideas through sketches and sample boards and pitching their ideas. The briefs encouraged the students to consider the space with reference to colours, texture, lighting, spatial and furniture layouts, planting and acoustics. This investment in Shape my City sits alongside the work placements we offer, providing 13 weeks of placements equating to £2,528.50 of annual Social Value Impact.

Easton Primary

We teamed up with Hoare Lea and Currie & Brown in conjunction with BristolWORKS to carry out a series of workshops for local schools and young offenders. The schools are often located in disadvantaged areas of Bristol where a history of unemployment exists. The idea behind BristolWORKS is to raise aspirations and create more opportunities. If students are in touch with people in the work place just 3 times they are more likely to go on to further their careers. School where pupils were recruited as either an Architect, Cost Consultant, Engineer or Project Manager to build a bridge across the harbour in Bristol. We have had some great feedback from this session and have been asked to participate in further activities across the city.

Mary Ward Adult Education Centre

Working hand in hand with our client team, we took a retro-first approach, preserving the raw concrete frame of the original building to weave its rich history into the visual fabric.. These investigative works revealed that a full refurbishment and extension of the building was indeed possible and offered a 40% carbon reduction compared to the proposed demolition and rebuild. Mary Ward also wanted to harness our collaborative experience in stakeholder engagement. AWW produced a series of workshops with the client and end users to develop the building programme and plans, defining the scope and scale of services. These workshops continued throughout the project, ensuring building users and staff felt engaged in the process and had a sense of ownership throughout. Situated in the heart of Stratford, London, the revitalised Mary Ward Centre now stands as a vibrant and inclusive space, deeply embedded in the community in which it is rooted.

"We're excited to witness the ripple effects of this transformation as our cutting-edge building perfectly complements our quirky and open approach. Heartfelt thanks to AWW for their enduring partnership."

- Mary Ward Adult Education Centre

Multi-coloured street art of a bird on the exterior of a building.

Our Social Value is informed by and aligned to the ESG strategy. In January 2022, as a practice we embarked on a process of developing our Social Value Strategy, defining a clear vision, with a set of pledges against which to hold ourselves accountable, with metrics to measure against and quantify success.

The Social Value Quality Mark Silver logo.

This work so far has enabled us to achieve our Social Value Quality Mark Level 1 and subsequently Social Value Quality Mark Silver accreditation. We see our ESG activities as integral to developing a resilient business and sustainable communities and we are on a journey where we continue to strengthen our contributions and Social Value Impact.

Close up of exterior wooden beams of the Wiltshire College building.

Our eight pledges align to the UK Social Value Model and Social Value Quality Mark, which in turn align to the UN Sustainability Development Goals. This ensures that in conducting our business we consider all aspects that contribute to creating a more sustainable world. Our pledges are backed by a comprehensive set KVIs that we can measure and account against.

Exterior shot of Dock House with a woman, her 2 children and a pram in front of the entrance.

AWW defines Social Value as the positive contribution to society through our actions and operations. Our interpretation encompasses three main areas of implementation:

Projects: As Architects and Interior Designers, we have a specific impact on the built environment and how our projects, processes and supply chain positively contribute to society during design, construction and in use. As such our ambition is to promote healthier, safer and more resilient communities to create a sustainable future.

The culture we uphold internally should influence the ethos we project externally. We challenge ourselves to be a more inclusive practice ensuring we support, mentor and encourage one another and continue to improve staff health and wellbeing.

As a practice and individuals there is an opportunity to contribute to wider society. Focussing on our volunteering, fundraising, pro bono work to VCSEs and mentoring as a way of championing the next generation.

People walking up and down the stairs in the inside atrium of the Stratford Island building.

A team has been formed at AWW to ensure that we deliver these standards to the highest quality. Led by Sustainability Director Tim Forster and Social Value Champion Heather Lavis, the group are responsible for monitoring, strategising, developing and reporting with the aim of incorporating our pledges within the everyday running of the practice. All social value commitments on every project are a core part of our ISO9001 certified IMS project plan, with project architects working with the client at the outset to set measurable and reportable pledges, KPIs and KVIs to deliver Social Value.

A woman sat reading a book in a quiet room of the Burges Salmon building.

Our bi-annual staff appraisal and surveys are important to assess the wellbeing and satisfaction of our staff. These qualitative approaches sit alongside our external audits which encompass BM Trada’s regular reviews of our ISO9001 and ISO14001 certifications, part of our rigorous Business Management System. We have recently developed an Intelligent Spreadsheet aligned to Social Value Model, HACT, National TOMs and Wellby to more effectively define our impact. This will form a critical part our approach as we progress in our Social Value journey and enable us to report more regularly on our contributions.

Students using tools in a construction room in one of the Wilshire College buildings.

We can assist clients in achieving their Social Value objectives on projects through Social Impact Reporting, Baseline Analysis, Post Occupancy Evaluation, Stakeholder Engagement and Collaborative Design.

To download our Social Value Impact Report please click here.