25 years ago when I started my architectural career, most environmental systems were cut from developments at costing stage. All architects and the industry now exult environmental design and rightly so.
It has been said that we, at Ben Cunliffe Architects, have not highlighted our beliefs or knowledge in this field. Perhaps at BCA we take environmental design as a given. Passive and green design is simply inseparable from architecture and is very much why I studied architecture. Whilst at Oxford Brookes University I simultaneously studied and obtained a Diploma in Environmental Building alongside Architecture under the incredible Professor Sue Roaf.
While technologies are important; Sue Roaf studied vernacular building across the world and taught me that the founding principle of Environmental Architecture is in Design. The building and how we use it are fundamental; environmental technologies and systems are complimentary to this principle.
On graduating from university I joined Battle McCarthy Engineers in London. At this time green technologies were marginal. Mass house building Uvalues were minimal and we worked on solar designs, computer modeling and wind tunnel testing in developing research for BRE (Building Research Establishment). Much of that work informed and developed Building Control Codes that are now industry standard today.
The fascination with technology combined with design has never ceased. A glass box can be part of an overall green strategy depending on how we use it. Environmental design is simply in our blood. The design of your building will incorporate passive solar gain, biomass, solar, heat recovery, air tightness or any of the above into a development with minimal energy demands.
Our builds will where possible incorporate local materials, knowledge and trades to minimise embodied CO2. We promote local economy, support local people and preserve local skills within our community.
Environmental Design is in our professional DNA. We employ it morally, scientifically and commercially. We love what we do and we aim to make architecture a fun and exciting process for both ourselves and our clients.