Looking to the future

It can be expected that in the future every new home in Britain will have to be built to the highest sustainability standards. Eco-building is now fashionable and will become main stream. Houses built to lesser standards will not be desirable in the future, so building to a higher eco-spec is not just a good ecological choice, but also a wise economic investment. I will take a wider view and help you to plan for the future.

 I have been immersed in the world of eco-design since I was a student in the 1980’s; it is so refreshing to see it become mainstream now. For me sustainability is not just about energy efficiency and carbon emissions, it relates to the whole process of designing and building.

The benefits of sustainable architecture:

Because every new house in Wales has to be designed to high standards, the quality of new build has never been better, and Wales is now set to lead the way in sustainable home design. With the new energy efficient designs we can expect to reduce our running costs, whilst living in more comfort with better natural lighting and easier to control ventilation. I am an Architect and I have the experience. Sustainability and Eco-design is not just a job but a way of life for me. I was born into a family of builders, and both my brothers are builders, so I am very practical. I also recognize the importance of home, and how important it is to make deeply rooted decisions about lifestyle.

 The drawbacks of sustainable architecture:

Building houses to a higher standard comes at a higher price, with more time input and more legislation. Many decisions that would have been made at a later stage, now have to be made as part of the planning process, so up-front costs are now higher. With so much financial investment up-front (pre-planning), you need to be sure of making the best choices. I have the experience and the training to help you do this. I will work with you to achieve efficient, economical, and delightful places to call home.

Being a Welsh Architect: 

I work mainly in Wales. The Welsh Government was the first to put Sustainability at the heart of its policies.

In Planning Policy Wales: Design is defined as “the relationship between all elements of the natural and built environment. To create sustainable development, design must go beyond aesthetics and include the social, environmental and economic aspects of the development, including its construction, operation and management, and its relationship to its surroundings.”

Ordinary houses:

Recent legislation has brought Eco design to vernacular houses, so now even ordinary new houses have become more sustainable, and the Planners like this because it means that the vernacular of Wales will not drastically change, as sustainable homes do not all need to be hi tec experiments, nor stripped back to nature.

One Planet Developments:

Beyond the ordinary; the introduction of the planning policy on sustainable rural communities (TAN6 ‘One planet developments’), now enables people in Wales to build a house in the open countryside; as long as they can prove that their income is generated from the land, and that they can approach zero carbon efficiency in their lifestyle, and their house and activities on the land have low environmental impact.

Eco, Green and a Grand Design:

As long ago as 1994 I was the Welsh representative for the Ecological Design Association and an advisor to the Green Building Digest. In 2008 a house I designed many years before, won a national TV competition to become the Grand Designs Best British Eco Home of that Year. See Rachel’s straw bale house in my book The Secret of home pg 90-91. I am a member of the Association of Energy Conscious Builders, and a certified Code Assessor.

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