No longer a by word for ‘new’ thinking or a separate branch of design, sustainability is a core principal that feeds into all our design decisions. We all, as partners In the construction industry today, have a responsibility to make decisions that have a positive impact on our environment. The environmental, social and economic effects of our decisions and strategies that impact our communities, must be to the highest sustainable standards.
We acknowledge that responsibility, and are passionate and committed to implementing sustainable design whenever possible; by creating energy-efficient building design, using low-energy materials, sourced locally, utilising renewable energy sources, rainwater harvesting and other carbon-reducing technologies.
As architects, we are involved at the very beginning of a project, which gives us an opportunity to establish the parameters of a design solution, which incorporates a strategy for sustainable design.
We have been at the forefront in sustainable design in the South West for several years now and look forward to future projects. Among our projects, we were proud to design one the first Passivhaus schemes in the UK (St Ive, Cornwall, below) and the first to be situated in a national park; Stafford Close (top), is situated in the picturesque Teign Valley in Devon.
The Passivhaus standard originated in 1988, with the Passivhaus-Institut founded in Germany in 1996. The international Passivhaus standard took some techniques and technologies that already existed and developed others specifically for the new standard.
By adhering to Passivhaus standards a building is able to dispense with conventional heating systems. ‘Superinsulation’ is used to significantly reduce heat transfer through walls, roof and floor. A range of thermal insulation materials can be used to gain the required R-values (a measure of how effectively a barrier resists the conductive flow of heat).
Buildings are required to be extremely airtight compared to conventional construction. Most of the air exchange with the exterior is done by controlled ventilation through a heat-exchanger in order to minimise heat loss or gain; depending on the current climate.
The Passivhaus standard has become one of the most effective tools for architects to design low energy, sustainable buildings.
The ‘Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method’ is the world’s leading method for assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of buildings. BREEAM began at the Building Research Establishment in the UK in 1988. In addition to rating buildings in terms of sustainability, it also works to raise awareness and promote sustainable design by providing market recognition for achievements.
We have had many projects rated positively including ‘outstanding’.