Sustainability

With energy costs rising and likely to continue to become a greater percentage of an organisation’s overhead (be that in running costs, transport or embodied energy in the building materials), the case to place energy efficiency, energy security and sustainability at the heart of any design is clear.

The efficient environmental performance of every building is of vital importance to us and we take a step-by-step approach, assessing each individual project on its own merits to determine which particular sustainable methodologies are appropriate and of real value. It might seem obvious but our approach is to keep things simple and avoid ‘green-washing’ the design. In the first instance we will embed passive sustainable technologies in the design and try and make the building do much of the work itself.

Our philosophy is to keep it simple and let the building do the lion’s share of the work.

Thereafter we will seek to seamlessly integrate active energy technologies.  We have a wide range of experience of installing solar thermal panels and photovoltaic cells as well as air / ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers.

As a result, our buildings regularly achieve BREEAM Excellent status.

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Key Elements of Sustainability

Insulation

High levels of insulation above and beyond the Building Regulations is the simplest and most cost effective method of reducing the energy footprint of any building. Careful attention of the building fabric needs to be paid right from the moment the pencil first hits sketch paper.

Natural Ventilation

Our buildings are deigned to encourage the cross flow of fresh air and believe the building users should have the flexibility to operate their environment simply and effectively. Wherever possible we avoid the necessity for complex and expensive mechanical ventilation.

Natural Daylighting

The introduction and control of natural daylight into a building is a cornerstone of our architectural design. Considered daylighting will both reduce the need for switching lights on in daylight hours as well as create spaces to teach and learn in.

Air Tightness

Whilst we firmly believe in natural ventilation, we ensure our buildings are as air-tight as possible. Huge quantities of energy can be wasted through air leakage. Intelligent construction detailing and accurate build quality are key to minimising heat loss.

Solar Control

Sunlight is a beautiful thing but too much can give rise to uncomfortably warm interiors and put significant cooling loads a building's energy load. Careful orientation of the building and large areas of glazing need to be carefully designed; with discreet solar shading integrated seamlessly where necessary.

Renewable Technologies

Active energy generation installations can compliment the passive energy strategies described above. We integrate solar thermal panels and photo-voltaic installations as seamlessly as possible. Equally we have many biomass, ground source and air source heating installed successfully across our portfolio.