architecture + landscape design

Philosophy /  Sustainability

We believe that buildings should be built sustainably. Just this, to show respect to our ailing planet.

These buildings provide the healthiest environment for their inhabitants and respect the landscape they rest in.

They are warm, cosy, well ventilated but draught free. They are well designed and proportioned, built of natural materials that improve with age like a favourite bag or jumper. They cost nothing to run and are a pleasure to maintain because they are truly cherished by their owners. Put simply, they are a joy and not a burden.

The ideal building would be ecologically designed with a zero carbon footprint. It would also be made of healthy, recycled materials. We believe that sustainable building design, technologies and materials should be within reach of everybody and we are doing our best to ensure that this happens soon for the sake of our planet.

/ Design

The first stage of the process is to arrange the spaces on the site in response to their environment.

Certain rooms will face the sun and absorb its warmth, walls facing north may be thick or earth sheltered. We like courtyards and our buildings often embrace and envelop the outdoors, it is a good way to absorb the landscape and bring a little of the outdoors in. They also provide light that negates the need for expensive artificial light. We often include doors that can be thrown open in summer, rooflights that allow light to pour in from the zenith of the sky and woodburners that throw off great heat in the winter.

Homes, ideally will have a fire. The fire is the burning, beating heart of the home and it should always win the battle for supremacy with the tv.

/ Technology

We say, make use of green technologies. They are your ticket to freedom from household bills and protect our planet’s dwindling resources

You may wish to consider:

Heating systems: ground source heat pump, wood pellet burner, log burner

Sanitation: rainwater harvesting, composting toilet, grey water recycling, reed beds

Renewables for energy generation: solar photovoltaics or hot water systems, wind turbines, hydro power

/ Materials

We can’t deny that it is expensive to build a truly healthy house, as it is to eat organic food. It really shouldn’t be this way, but it is. The more natural building products we buy, the more we will produce and their cost will decrease so we try to specify them as much as possible.

A completely sustainable building will have non toxic and antibacterial properties and may include:

External walls -timber frame,straw bales, rammed earth

Internal walls- wood wool fibre, reed board and mat, oak laths

Roof- shingle, recycled slate

Floors- limecrete

Insulation- hemp, woodfibre, recycled paper, wool fleece

Plasters- lime, recycled glass

Metal works- copper/ galvanised aluminum for longevity

Decorations- plant based paints, oils and waxes, there are a myriad of different finishes available using natural pigments and it is fun to experiment with texture and light.

All three of the above would be ideal- sustainable design, technology and materials. Even if your budget just takes you part of the way there, you are still doing your bit. One step is the beginning of a journey, however small it may be.

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