What does sustainable architecture actually entail?


The push on sustainable design and architecture is finally gaining momentum in mainstream planning and design, which we are very excited and happy about.

Planning committees are increasingly better informed, materials, equipment and services are much more accessible and affordable and clients are keener than ever to incorporate sustainable concepts and technologies into their buildings.

"This has been a long time coming and will hopefully bring huge benefits to our environment as well as the chance to see some really interesting and ground-breaking design concepts," says our founder, Ben Smith.

Image Credit:  The Lookout, Knight Frank

In case you're not sure exactly what sustainable design entails, here are some of the elements that we consider when looking at sustainable design for our clients' projects:

  • Maximising insulation
  • Using long-lasting, natural and locally sourced materials
  • Installing Carbon neutral, energy efficient heating and ventilation systems, such as air source heat pumps and solar panels
  • Using energy-efficient lighting and appliances
  • Installing water-saving plumbing fixtures
  • Strategically placing windows to maximise natural light
  • Using energy efficient, thermal glazing
  • Considering rainwater harvesting and grey water reuse
  • Living roofs to create insulation and encourage the local ecosystem
Image Credit: What House Awards

Other elements to consider, with larger or rural developments particularly, are how we can minimise any negative impact on and actually enhance the local environment, making sure we are thinking about the effects of any development on the local area in the short and long term.

Introducing wetland areas, ponds, footpaths, cycle paths, wild flower areas and tree planting all add weight to any sustainable design.

We are currently working on several sustainable development projects and look forward to sharing them with you shortly...

MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: Richard Chivers for HomeBuilding.co.uk

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