A'Bear & Ball Architects  | RIBA Chartered Architects
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Low Energy Design

Sustainability and low energy design is always central to our design thinking. Our philosophy is to first concentrate on the layout, orientation, form and envelope of the building in order to reduce energy consumption to a practical minimum and then advise on ways of incorporating suitable renewable technologies to provide the reduced energy demand. Building Regulations compliance is the minimum statutory standard required in relation to energy efficiency, however we promote higher standards wherever possible and at the outset of every project we agree energy performance targets with our clients.

Recognising the increasing importance of low energy design Robert A’Bear qualified as a Certified Passivhaus Designer from the Passivhaus Institute in Darmstadt, Germany. Passivhaus is Europe’s leading low energy design standard being developed in Germany in the early 1990’s. The Passivhaus standard dramatically reduces the requirement for space heating and cooling (typically 75% less than current Building Regulation standards) whilst also creating excellent indoor comfort levels. This is achieved by adopting a ‘fabric first’ approach to the design, specifying high levels of insulation along with exceptional levels of airtightness and the use of a whole house mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery (MVHR)

We can deliver low energy housing projects to the full Passivhaus standard when required, however many of the Passivhaus ultra low energy design principles can be successfully integrated on projects with less demanding energy targets.