I listened to a seminar by Bill Dunster about the new Solar Zed roofs at Ecobuild today. These make a large reduction in the cost of installing solar because you are saving on the roofing material cost. This means that solar panels may only cost £80 per m2 extra or the example Bill gave was; it might cost say, £12,500 extra to install the solar zed roof which you can add to your mortgage, this would be less to pay per month than a mortgage on a house built to current building regulations with the energy bills on top. In addition you would be future proofing yourself against energy price rises which are agreed to be an 8-10% rise annually. Continue Reading →
In a series of a few posts, I am going to go over the process of designing and building a home extension. The first post is about permitted development. Continue Reading →
February 22, 2013
I was concerned to read in a recent RIBA journal (Feb/March 2013) about Passivhaus’s being built in Belgium without proper ventilation. It is a scary thought that while the building regulations in this country are leaning more and more towards air tight buildings, ventilation is getting overlooked or not properly designed. According to the RIBA journal, one Passivhaus in Belgium had to be condemned with occupants suffering from itching skin and allergies. The cause was an earth pipe used to bring in warm air from the outside which was not watertight, causing moist bacteria filled air to enter the building. Continue Reading →
February 21, 2013
A few years ago I took a trip around the world looking at case studies that had used vernacular technologies to great effect in modern sustainable housing design. I wrote this up as part of my masters at Oxford Brookes University (while simultaneously setting up my own practice). This research has greatly effected how I design today and I wanted to share one such example with you.
The brief was to design a 4 bedroom + annexe eco farmhouse in a local village.
For this design I looked at existing farmhouses in this country particularly Sanders Longhouse in Dartmoor and a local farmhouse to me. I looked at the vernacular Continue Reading →
February 12, 2013
I listened recently to a really interesting programme broadcast on Radio 4 about women architects in the United Arab Emirates. There are many parallels with women architects in this country including issues with long working hours, child care support and being listened to in a male dominated environment. Here are my musings from the programme: Continue Reading →
February 5, 2013
The two parts that excite me the most in my job is the feasibility stage and when the building is being built on site. Feasibility is the excitement of discovering something new, until it appears in my sketchbook, it does not exist. Continue Reading →
January 14, 2013
One of the biggest challenges I have had is setting up a business. I know how to be an architect, I understand design and construction but I didn’t know the first thing about setting out on my own, least of all in a recession. Following redundancy, many job applications, the dole and the job centre (a swift confidence destroyer if there ever was one, but that’s another blog) I was offered some freelance work and decided that may be the best (if only) course of action. Continue Reading →
January 3, 2013
A recent survey by inbuilding.org found that15% of the population did not know that architect’s design buildings, so in my first post, I thought I might explain what an architect does…. Continue Reading →