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Wellington Lane - an exemplar example of a sustainable dwelling we designed to passive house standards

As energy prices continue to rise, we are all thinking more carefully about how we consume energy in our homes. We often delay turning on the heating at home during autumn/winter which not only decreases our comfort levels but could also lead to issues such as increased condensation, black mould, and other problems that may affect the building fabric and create long term damage.

It can be difficult for homeowners to know what areas of the home are best upgraded and what the expected benefit, feasibility, and approximate cost could be. To help with this, we have been busy developing a sustainability assessment as part of our services which identifies areas of the home that could be improved to offer an enhanced level of comfort and energy efficiency.

During our site survey, we will produce a detailed report highlighting what is currently in place, and options for improvement and what the expected benefit, feasibility, and approximate cost could be. The report is broken down into two main key strategies:

Fabric First Approach

Designing to make dwellings much more comfortable and easier to heat in winter and cooler in summer, whilst providing a healthy indoor environment. Upgrading the building fabric such as walls, floors, roofs, windows, doors, etc. will minimise energy loss and maximise energy efficiency. Some of the topics in this insulation, airtightness, ventilation, passive design

Energy Focused Approach

Assessing the existing mechanical appliances within the home and looking to upgrade these appliances and/or implementing new strategies for heating, cooling, ventilation, etc. Some of the topics include heating, cooling, lighting, mechanical ventilation, water usage, and on-site energy generation.

A snippet from our sustainability assessment from a live project is shown below.

Fabric First - An understanding of the existing wall fabric will provide us with an idea of current heat loss and how best to go about making improvements to keep heat within the home for longer during the colder months.
Energy Focus - Understanding what appliances are currently in place will help us provide strategies for improving the heating strategy depending on the needs of the occupant

As shown in the examples above, we aim to offer multiple solutions which will vary in their cost and expected benefit. By providing a range of possible improvement options, we can discuss in detail with our clients which we think might be best for them and their home according to their budget and their needs.

This is a service we will offer as standard as part of our new renovation projects. We can also offer this service independently of any design work if required.

If you're thinking about building an extension or looking at a new build, get in touch to see how we can be of help. As architects, we aim to build in a sustainable manner exploring many options to suit our clients' needs.

You can read more about Wellington Lane here.

We have recently achieved planning permission for a rear extension to a dwelling in Patchway, Bristol.

The clients sought to expand the ground floor living space to better suit a more modern way of living. An open plan kitchen and dining space was one of the primary aspirations as was a space to play games, a utility/laundry space and a ground floor W.C. The existing lounge adjacent to the street remains as such although a new folding door provides the option to either enclose the lounge or open it up depending on the occasion.

The existing first floor W.C. was also something the clients wanted to enlarge and thought a first floor extension was the only way to achieve this. We used some simple concepts, such as moving the window position and flipping the door to open outwards onto the landing, to create a more spacious layout.

The clients already had a vision of the external finish materials. Timber of varying dark tones clads the extension which sits above a stone cill drip ledge and a stone finish foundation below.

The client is very happy with how things are progressing and we hope to move on to producing detailed drawings shortly. We will publish detailed progress as this project continues to move forward.

Following a few alterations to the design we previously posted, we have finalised the design and layout with the client through a series of design meetings and are preparing to submit this scheme to planning.


The design looks to create a new storey above the existing bungalow. The new first floor will accommodate all the social and shared spaces of a home. A kitchen with walk-in pantry, dining area, W.C., and snug are now closely located and will allow the family to enjoy more time together rather than at opposite ends of the bungalow. The first floor balcony will take advantage of the views out to the Bristol estuary. An external staircase will also provide access to the first floor and ground floor from the garden.

A new entrance space has been created on the ground floor which accommodates the new staircase to the first floor and plenty of storage for coats, shoes, bags, etc. The existing kitchen and dining room on the ground floor will become the master bedroom with walk-in storage, and en-suite. This now takes full advantage of the existing balcony on this level. The existing lounge on the ground floor will be retained and used as another space for the family to enjoy together.

Sustainability Upgrades

The exterior walls of the new first floor will be clad in cork to improve the energy efficiency of the dwelling. Solar panels will be fitted to the south facing roofs to create energy on site which could be further paired with a battery system to store the energy for later use. The existing ground floor will also see a number of upgrades to the walls and floors to improve the u-value of the house. This will create more comfortable living spaces and reduce the need to use energy to heat the home.

Overall, the client is very pleased with the design and looks forward to taking the project to the next stage. We will publish detailed progress as this project continues to move forward.

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