site wide search

Retrofit

‘Under the Sun’, a Victorian terrace house in Birmingham is an outstanding example of bringing a fairly typical old building up to PassivhausSee more on the Passivhaus standard. The PassivHaus Institute has pioneered a standard for low energy buildings. It includes very low energy usage and ways of achieving this. The word is derived […]

Designing with timber

timber house in the Field of Dreams, Findhorn FoundationThe Findhorn Foundation is a large community near Inverness. There is a strong emphasis on sustainable building.

designing with timber

Are the British inherently nervous of timber buildings? Does this go back to the Great Fire of London? Is this still valid considering how many […]

Design it yourself

see also A Pattern Language Almere, Netherlands Designing with timber Lighting Spiral stair calculators Stair design Straight stair calculator Window design

The Ashley Vale development in Bristol shows a wealth of creative input by the residents

Click the image above for 3D panoramic view with drag and zoom

Self build, although demanding, can be […]

Green Design

Denby Dale passivhausSee more on the Passivhaus standard. The PassivHaus Institute has pioneered a standard for low energy buildings. It includes very low energy usage and ways of achieving this. The word is derived from the idea of buildings which are fundamentally low energy and passive solar heated rather than using extra gadgets to […]

Window design

There are many purposes a window can serve and several of these have important ecological considerations:

Letting light in Collecting solar heat Providing a view Acting as a door The visual character of a house

Windows may have associated drawbacks to consider:

They may let in too much light at certain times Too much […]

Habitat Protection

Part of habitat protection is mandatory and part can be insisted on by planners. Then there are, of course the opportunities to enhance habitat or at least mitigate the damage done to it. Building in the countryside is usually more of a risk to rich habitats than building on brownfield sites.

One of the patterns […]

Water Conservation

see also Rainwater harvesting

This tends to be something of a regional issue but certainly in the South East, it is becoming a major concern with planning permissionthe legal basis for being allowed to do some form of development such as building a house. (not to be confused with Building RegulationsThese are the mass of […]

Building Regulations

What are the regulations for?

See the English government web site on Building Regulations. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are listed below. Slowly an increasing number of details in the regulations are diverging between the countries.

Building Regulations deal with whether the building is built properly and is safe and energy efficient etc.

The Regulations […]