Thursday, 23 May 2013

2 Simple Rules to help design an Eco Home.

The Above Image is of An 'A' energy rated Eco home designed by my studio @

There are many aspects to environmental design and sustainability such as social inclusion, embodied energy, ethical sourcing of materials, future adaptability, energy in use , energy in build...., quality of design, recyclability etc etc .. however as my client was concerned with the increasing cost of energy ..lets focus on how we achieved 95% energy efficiency.

During its life it will produce more energy than it uses!!

It is designed using simple principles.

1. Reduce 'house in use' demand for energy.

This is achieved by:
1. Super insulated walls- In this case using Insulated Concrete Form work (a cost effective and super insulated wall construction)
2. Triple Glazing.
3. Airtightness detailing throughout.
4. Super Insulated Floor detailing.
5. Large expanse of south facing glazing to avail of free solar heat.
6. Use of mechanical heat recovery and sealed ventilation system.
7. Use of a air tight vestibule.

2. Generate energy on site:

This is achieved by:
1. Photovoltaic panels elegantly integrated on the roof design- 4kw system will pay the client dividends long term
2. 200metre  ground borehole connected to Ground source heat pump
3. Connected to low temp regulated underfloor heating
4. Installation of wood burning stove using wood cuts from site. Heat generated is recovered and circulated throughout house.

These are the broad stroke basics of creating Super energy efficiency at a surprisingly affordable cost. There are so many aspects and variables.. each project must be tailored to its particular site and location  achieve the maximum value from the site.
 If you want to discuss more contact : or 0141 2372775 or 07792568557.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Some advice on the planning system in Scotland.

I have had difficulty going to clients and explaining why their planning application is taking so long! Whilst 'the process' is out of the architects hands there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.
1. Use the e planning website to lodge your applications. Its cheaper and will save lots of printing. It also leads to quicker validation of your application.

2. Always speak to the local case officer before doing anything (called a pre-app consultation).. they are usually very helpful and give you local and site specific advice..this can save much abortive work.

3. Provide drawn information as each council requests it.. Not rocket science really.(Also do not over provide information- Planning don't care for more than regulation)

4. Double check that your drawings are properly coordinated. An out of place window conflicting in plan and elevation can lead to a non validation, which can burn a week/ 2 weeks of time... That is wasted time and money generally.

5. The best thing to do to accelerate the process is to provide a great inconestatable design that recognises local need and is sensitive to all parties (clients and neighbours!) easier said than done.....

next log..what to do when your planning is refused!

Monday, 20 May 2013

So... a blog.
I've just Googled what blog means and it's an abbreviation of web-log.
The purpose of my ongoing log is to open a forum of discussion on Architecture... I don't really mind the specific subject matter as long as its vaguely Architecture and design related.

We could discuss the vagaries of the Scottish Planning and building control system or what is so particularly sexy about the work of Sverre fehn. I dont really mind ... Your call:)