BABB Architects is keen to promote sustainable solutions where it can, recognizing the part it has to play in not only considering sustainability in business practices, but also the influence it can have on the buildings it designs and refurbishes. We believe that a fabric first approach to be the most effective way of minimising energy and carbon usage with new buildings. It is our view that you have one really good, cost-effective opportunity to get good insulation and air-tightness in a building, and that is in the initial construction of the building. BABB Architects promotes where it can the fabric first approach, where energy efficiency of a property is prioritized right from conception, at the start of the design and development process.
Linda Jones is currently a Passivhaus Designer and was previously a Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor. The Passivhaus Standard is a rigorous, scientific, performance standard for the design and construction of energy efficient buildings. It is not just about the technical requirements of energy efficient design, it encompasses:
- Energy Efficiency, and
- Quality Assurance.
Over their recent careers Linda & Rhodri have worked on four Passivhaus projects; one of which has been certified and the other three are awaiting certification or completion. In addition to this they have worked on housing which follows the fabric first approach. They have worked on a number of buildings which have achieved either very good or excellent BREEAM ratings.
It makes total sense to aim for zero carbon in use in new buildings, and to reduce carbon emissions in refurbishment projects. We also consider the circular economy whilst specifying building materials. The circular economy is a model of production and consumption which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended and waste is minimised.
As architects we acknowledge our responsibility to play our part in making our projects more sustainable. We have skills and experience which we bring to projects and are continually learning as we all work out how to live in a better more sustainable way.