As designers we have an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the environment through the spaces and places that we create.
A highly sustainable project has the power to inspire us and improve our quality of life. We look to maximise the environmental credentials of every project we work on. Essentially, this is just ‘good design’ and it also saves you money in the long-run.
We always seek ways to limit the carbon emissions, pollution or waste caused by our projects, as well as the impact on resources and ecology. At the same time, we explore opportunities for them to have a positive impact. This could be through re-use, regeneration, sustainable energy, or by promoting community, wellbeing, sustainable travel and biodiversity.
Passivhaus is a tried and tested design principle that focuses on the control of air quality. Its aim is to achieve a healthy, comfortable and stable environment for the building’s inhabitants.The concept focuses on reducing energy usage, rather than causing a higher demand by using renewables. It is a robust and effective way of reducing carbon – a key issue for our planet.Passivhaus is an exacting quality assurance process, giving you confidence in the building’s performance from an early stage. The design and build process is closely monitored, ensuring heat loss through the building fabric is reduced and space heating demand is reduced throughout the year.We have in-house certified European Passivhaus designers. They can design to Passivhaus standards and provide guidance, advice and assessment for all types of buildings for both principle and certification standard.
Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP) Assessment
The Passivhaus Planning Package is used to assess the energy efficiency of a building through the conventions of the Passivhaus principles.We can review all types of building at design stage, pre-planning or post planning.The PHPP process will identify the heating and cooling demand per year, as well as the renewable energy demands and gains. This will give you a good estimate of annual running costs. As part of the Passivhaus services offered, design stage thermal modelling can be incorporated to ensure low thermal bridging values and reduce the performance gap seen in more traditional build types.We offer an assessment report post PHPP which provides both the results of the assessment and suggestion for improvement in order to achieve certification standard. PHPP can also be used to assess a building to AECB Carbonlite Silver Standard which has a relaxed standard to the full Passivhaus Certification.
Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and EPC, Residential
Standard Assessment Procedure measures a building’s energy efficiency by making calculations through government approved modelling software, in compliance with Part L1A Building Regulations.We undertake SAP calculation on new build residential developments and provide SAP reports for both design stage and final completion. This includes the EPC certification to satisfy Building Control.We can produce all auxiliary information required for SAP assessment, including U-value calculations, thermal modelling and technical advice on performance improvement.
Thermal Bridging Analysis
Thermal bridges are an important part of sustainable design. Heat lost through poorly designed bridges can make a significant difference to the overall energy efficiency of the building. There are two types of thermal bridging:
- construction thermal bridging – materials with high conductivity penetrate the insulation layer
- and geometric thermal bridges – the insulation changes in direction or thickness.
Thermal bridge analysis calculates the heat lost in addition to the normal thermal transmittance of the element. It not only provides a clearer calculation of the in-use energy of a building, helping to close the energy performance gap, but also provides a base to improve detailing by identifying the worst performing junctions.Both SAP and Passivhaus require thermal bridge calculations. We offer both 2D and 3D thermal bridge analysis and provide psi (Ѱ) values for the energy efficiency assessment of a building.
No matter the scale of the project, we always approach sustainable design in the same way:
A holistic approach that considers wider opportunities, sometimes outside of a project’s brief or the site boundary.
We strive to involve the building’s inhabitants or communities in the design process. After all, they will be the ones living, working and playing there.
No two places are the same. Our designs respond to the site and the brief, rather than following a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Early in the project we look for opportunities to include passive heating, cooling and lighting. We use environmental modelling software Sefaira to test our designs, looking for the most appropriate orientation, density, building form and layout.
Optimising the design to reduce heat loss and waste, while promoting energy efficiency before applying renewables or expensive add-ons.
Putting people at the heart of the design to create environments that are comfortable, controllable and life-enriching.