Housing & Energy
The built environment is estimated to be responsible for 50% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the UK. Therefore energy efficiency is a high priority over the entire life cycle of a building.
This is where an architect can really come into their own, increasing a buildings ability to capture energy, reducing its consumption of energy and even producing its own energy.
This is an increasingly important aspect of architecture with ever increasing amounts of legislation and rising energy costs.
The most important aspect and cost effective measure involves efficient and innovative insulation which can save you £100s per year on your energy bills.
Utilising the most abundant and cost effective energy source – the sun – is one of an architects greatest passions. Providing light and heat for a home, and the effective capture of this resource can make a tremendous difference to your home.
This can be done in passive ways like effective glazing and low surface area to volume designs or more revolutionary ways by incorporating solar capture devices (solar cells, grass roofs etc) into the overall design of the building.
This aspect also involves the minimisation of waste a building produces, be it light, water or heat.
Building needs to incorporate an understanding the whole lifecycle of the products used in the manufacture of a building. Low energy input timber from sustainable resources and natural materials rather than manufactured volatile organic compound materials. Sourcing material from local suppliers to reduce the energy input of transportation to site and as little packaging as possible of materials used in the construction process all add to the energy efficiency of your building. Consider renewable power such as solar panels, photovoltaics and wind generators; payback is not the only reason to instal them, Earth's survival is another.