MEng (Hons) Architectural Engineering CEng MICE
Associate James Green is passionate about sustainable design and believes Whitby Wood is the place to feed his enthusiasm. He joined us in 2023 to start up our Leeds office and is part of our sustainability development team. He says, “There is a niche for a smaller more agile office up across the northern powerhouse, working with sustainably focused architects and clients.”

His experience encompasses timber, concrete and steel design and detailing, retrofit, refurbishment and BIM co-ordination. He’s clear about why he’s an engineer — “I am firstly an engineer because I am good at maths — structured and logical. I need to be able to see the fruit of my labours.”

James started studying physics but switched to Architectural Engineering for its practicality and creativity, graduating from Leeds University and joining Buro Happold, where he worked the O2 Arena in Dublin and the new Everton Stadium. He travelled widely, gaining experience in Peru at a school for students with disabilities, and rebuilding homes there following an earthquake. He also worked on site at the King Saud University in Riyadh.

Returning to London, he found pleasure in designing buildings to make the city he cared about a better place to live. He says, “The idea of bettering the world developed into a more global outlook, more interest in sustainability and climate change.” He gained experience working with timber, and on constrained sites.

James, a German speaker, went to Berlin in 2016 to work with a structural engineering practice. He provided project leadership and BIM expertise for mid-rise concrete frame offices in Leipzig, a steel grid shell tropical biome in Münster, and low-rise and mid-rise timber frame supermarkets with urban farming (rooftop greenhouses) in Weisbaden.

He moved to Schoene Neue Welt (Brave New World) in 2022 to work on projects with a more sustainable focus, including mid-rise timber-concrete hybrid schemes for offices, mixed use and residential developments in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin. In the UK, he is fostering a collaborative working arrangement between Whitby Wood and Schoene Neue Welt. He believes they share many values and he sees potential for project work sharing in both directions.

On sustainability, James says, “It keeps me awake at night far more than ‘Do I have enough reinforcement in my slab?’, much more ‘Why do we have a concrete slab in the first place?’.” He admits to wrestling with his conscience about the damage we are causing the planet. But he’s not one to give up, saying firmly, “ultimately this is what I know how to do — it’s a cop-out to leave. Instead I need to try and help change things” through more efficient and sustainable design.

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