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Sustainable Design & Policy

Our carbon footprint is now embodied in our design approach with approximately 40% of national energy consumption from residential and 30% from commercial buildings in use.

We are committed to the challenges of sustainable development and finding an approach to designing buildings that will provide the most energy efficient building exceeding the standards required by building regulations but being economically achievable and cost effective.

Passivhaus principles of design and building are becoming a leading principle of sustainable design not only across Europe but also in the UK. We believe for new as well as upgrading existing buildings that the key elements to be addressed are as follows:

  • High levels of insulation
  • High performance windows with insulated frames
  • Airtight building fabric
  • Remove thermal bridges
  • Whole building mechanical or passive ventilation system with high efficiency heat recovery

Sustainable Design & PolicyWhilst we support the use of renewable energy for example ground/air source heat pumps we believe for the large part that a highly efficient gas condensing boiler that can recover heat from flue gases is a suitable and more economical approach to saving circa 30% energy usage particularly where energy consumption is reduced improving the performance of the building fabric.

Recent reports by the BRE and Royal Academy of Engineers found that the UK cannot rely solely on renewable technology as the skills and the capacity of the electrical supply is not adequate to meet the expected demand. Furthermore, research shows that new renewable technology has been found to have mixed results and requires a holistic approach. Therefore in the short to medium term, super efficient gas boilers still provide the answer in most cases.

As code assessors we can feed the requirements into our designs at the early stage of design to eliminate costly retrofit solutions at a late stage.

With regard to new building design the proposed orientation and form of the building will have an impact on the energy efficiency of the building and optimise solar gains from south facing facades.

Careful specification of materials to ensure they have the lowest possible impact on the environment as defined in the green guide and by sourcing where possible local materials reducing the need for transportation.