Sustainable Building Design Advice

We work directly with self builders and Architect’s clients and as sub-consultants for engineers and building designers. We can provide strategic advice through detailed design to site supervision and fine tuning of the completed building.

Form Follows Function

“I don’t remember being forced to accept compromises, but I’ve willingly accepted constraint.” – Charles Eames

If we want to design a genuinely energy and resource efficient building we cannot fool the laws of nature. Complex built forms are expensive to build, difficult to detail and tend to perform badly in terms of heat loss. We care deeply about design and aesthetics. However if the design is being compromised by the requirements of energy efficiency it may be more productive to question the design rather than the laws of physics.

However a dome is the most efficient form in terms of heat loss but the least efficient in terms of furniture, weatherproofing and adding extensions, we don’t recommend domes.

Energy Modelling

PHPP Passivhaus planning package energy balance

We can provide energy modelling using the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP). This is best carried out at an early stage so that the results can inform the design allowing cost savings and improved performance. We use PHPP to simplify  pre-planning optimisation and to help communicate results.

Passivhaus Building Details

passivhaus details

Building detailing is our passion and we are always looking for more elegant solutions to simplify the build process whilst keeping the weather out and the heat in.

It is usual to blame the builder when a building leaks water or fails to meet airtightness targets. In our experience the problem is usually with the design and details, something we can help fix.

Thermal Bridges

passivhaus foundation Therm model

We would always rather design out thermal bridges than model them but where required we can model 2D thermal bridges and suggest economical design improvements to reduce heat loss and condensation risk.

Building Services design

For smaller projects we can provide full design and specification of the building services to meet the Passivhaus or AECB energy standards. For larger projects we work with the building service engineers as sub-consultants helping to optimise designs.