5 capitals: human.


Placing people at the core.

It’s vital that any approach to sustainable design is outcomes-focused. The overarching aim is to emphasise the value that can be created from sustainable developments. In collaboration with our clients, we create simple, clear aims that add value in these key areas.

1. Social: the value for wider society
2. Human: the impact on the users
3. Physical: the building & infrastructure
4. Natural: the enhancement of the environment
5. Economic: the commercial benefits

All week, we’ll be looking at each of these capitals in more detail. Today’s is human capital.

Human capital is essentially people-centred design. It’s about focusing on improving people’s quality and longevity of life through the environments they interact with.

Considering how people will experience, and be affected by, a place is key to the human capital approach. A sustainable building is not sustainable if it doesn’t work for the people who use it.

People gravitate to places, spaces, and products that make them feel good.

As you would imagine, human capital is intrinsically linked to health & wellbeing. Our approach starts from the project’s inception and continues all the way through the lifecycle of a building or development. The key stages are:

– Concept and strategy: asking and agreeing how people should/could use the space, and the opportunities to enhance environments accordingly
– Implementation: ensuring the entire project team is committed to interrogating and delivering human-centred design solutions
– Operation: measuring the success of a space in terms of user feedback and data, and optimising the building accordingly

When projects put the right emphasis and value on people-centric design, the rewards can be boundless. Our work with Deloitte on the pioneering One New Street Square building demonstrated how a commitment to human-centred design could achieve the highest recognised industry standards in sustainability and wellbeing. This approach not only resulted in a world-first, but also makes a powerful statement about the value and care Deloitte has for its people.

Engineers of human experiences.

It’s also vital we lead by example when it comes to human capital. That’s why we’re committed to championing human-centred design solutions across the industry and to policy-makers. From our country-wide survey talking to people about their homes for the UKGCB Health Housebuilding report, to our work improving the air quality in our own offices – we know human capital is a vital part of any sustainable solution.

We must deliver tangible real term benefits – benefits for people, for now, and for the future.

Take a look at our short video clip explaining our approach to creating human capital:

Look out for our post tomorrow, where we’ll be looking in more detail at physical capital.