Sustainability & Passivhaus
Powell Dobson has been championing sustainable and energy efficient design since 1997 when we designed offices for Arup in Cardiff, which were naturally ventilated and included exposed vaulted concrete soffits for enhanced thermal mass - a pioneering approach at the time.
Sustainability is therefore at the core of our design output and is reflected in our commitment to staff skills and our design review processes.
Ultimately, our design will outlive the person behind the pencil, and it is our belief that the structures and spaces we create should be a legacy to be proud of, and one that will improve the lives and health of our future generations and planet Earth.
This, is a very real and heavy responsibility and is met with the highest rigour and drive within Powell Dobson. We, as designers, are in a very privileged position in that we are able to mould and shape the world, changing the very fabric of the surface of the planet.
The process of "construction" in its very nature is a very carbon intensive process. The materials traditionally used, the transportation of products and materials, the travel patterns of workers and consultants over a period of sometimes several years does impact the world we live in. Buildings live and breathe in unison with the people inside, with some requiring astronomical amounts of energy to offset poor design and internal conditions. This is not sustainable and not acceptable.
This needs to change, and here at Powell Dobson, we have made every effort for decades to improve this.
We are a PassivHaus Trust Member and have experience working on residential and educational PassivHaus projects such as Mulberry Park in Bath and Sands of Speed Museum at Pendine Sands in Carmarthen. We have 2 certified PassivHaus designers Dr. Antony Davies, Partner and Oliver Henshall, Technical Associate.
The PassivHaus concept was developed in mainland Europe some 30 years ago, as a way of constructing ultra efficient and comfortable buildings, utilising "passive" design principles and a 'fabric first' ethos.
By manipulating the orientation of the building to benefit from the free energy from the sun, wrapping the fabric with highly efficient insulation and air tightness layers and designing a simple heat exchanging ventilation system, the space heating requirements plummet and with it, the energy required to run the building and ultimately the carbon emitted into the atmosphere.
Designing to these standards requires a real understanding of building anatomy, material science and the physics behind energy transfer. Powell Dobson, has this expertise with our in-house certified designers available to deliver your PassivHaus requirements.
We are able to provide this specialism as part of an overall traditional architectural service, for projects in their infancy up to technical delivery. We are also able to offer this service as an independent consultant, working alongside a wider design team and other consultants, guiding them through design decisions and the certification process.
Should you wish to discuss any PassivHaus projects, or if you would like to hear more about the concept and how it could be implemented, please get in touch by email or phone firstname.lastname@example.org or 033 33 201 001