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Jake Attwood Harris

2015 CAT Graduate

Jake graduated from CAT in 2015, he now works as a Sustainable Design Advisor for the award-winning Hawkins/Brown architecture firm in London.

Jake graduated from CAT in 2015 on our old MSc in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies course. He now works as a Sustainable Design Advisor for the award-winning Hawkins/Brown architecture firm in London.

Before studying at CAT he studied architecture at UCL, then worked for a sustainable design consultancy for around a year and a half before joining the sustainable architecture firm Foster & Partners as part of their new engineering group.

Being familiar with CAT for a long time, he visited several times as a child and grew up on a largely self-sufficient smallholding along with similar principles, so saw CAT as one of the only institutions in the UK with a comprehensive knowledge of the real challenges of creating a zero-carbon Britain and all the intricacies this involves. He liked that CAT has tested and experimented with solutions over decades, making our courses it is not dogmatic or theoretical like many other courses.

“CAT has 40 years of invaluable practical knowledge, testing ideas rather than just imagining ideal futures. This approach allowed me to escape the limits of the theoretical and really apply my studies in the real world. The course gave me the ability to see the issues in the round and to judge for myself the efficacy of different proposals and see how they fit into a wider global picture.

I use the design philosophies I learned at CAT every day. I constantly use examples of building projects from CAT, such as Pat Borer’s approach of providing the vast majority of the building from natural materials, with a few very small industrial elements where it counts to increase sustainability (like the solar panels, steel roof etc. on the WISE building).

In my current role, we have recently developed in house whole life carbon calculation software and design approaches/ project management approaches for the whole office and every project to be assessed. I review every design project that our office develops and set bespoke sustainability criteria and design approach, this is something like 100 live projects at any one time and around 10 completing construction every year.”

Jake aims to continue to work in the field of design to lead sustainability strategies and define frameworks and hopes to increase his work with councils and professional bodies and hopefully advise governments eventually on sustainable design practices.