Rachel Hoolahan, Orms
Rachel Hoolahan

Rachel co-leads the practice’s sustainability consultancy work, having originally joined Orms as an architect in 2017. Orms are a leading London architecture practice with extensive experience working with existing buildings. For the past few years, the practice has engaged in a series of deep research assignments and is utilising this data and knowledge to push the boundaries of sustainable development – both in refurbishment and new build projects.

Rachel leads Orms’ research into materials passports, which was initiated as part of a wider project into material reuse. The outcome of this work is a methodology for encouraging more meaningful material reuse, by creating a material database for the project. The approach is deliberately open source and flexible, allowing design teams of any size or skill set to apply the work to their projects. She now leads a materials passports working group, a cross industry collaboration, with the aim of turning the research into a clear project deliverable. In 2023 Orms received funding with Lancaster University and supported by the University of Sheffield to develop a materials passports policy paper and templates which will facilitate wider adoption of materials passports.

Rachel is an active member of the UKGBC and LETI research streams, in addition to supporting the EU funded CIRCuIT project. In 2023, she was a jury member for both the RIBA East Awards and AJ Retrofit Awards, tutor for the LSA School of Architecture Design Think Tank and guest lecturer at the University of Westminster.

As former partners for the UKGBC Circular Economy Programme, Orms will be continuing their support for this research stream, which has already resulted in several industry guides and tools. Orms are also active participants in the Circular Economy Live Project Forum and LETI Circular Economy group.

Rachel was the recipient of the 2021 AJ100 Sustainability Champion Award.