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Sustainable Design: What's All the Fuss About?

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

Sustainability and low energy design are intrinsic to our business ethos at hmad|architects, Exeter in Devon. However, when deciding on a design for a project, a client can easily be forgiven for wondering ‘what’s all the fuss about?’  We’ve created a quick overview of the importance of low energy design to us:

1. The Environment

The UK domestic sector accounts for 30% of the country’s CO2 emissions, thus the way that buildings are constructed and used has a huge environmental impact - affecting climate change, ocean acidification and ozone pollution.

Rising CO2 emissions have a dire effect on both existing and future human generations. Incidents of severe weather such as tropical storms, droughts and wildfires are predicted to continue increasing, destroying infrastructure and human lives in the process. Water supplies are shrinking as demand increases due to rising sea levels infiltrating our drinking water systems. The pollution of the air with black carbon is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular disease, cancer and birth defects.

Energy efficient design is central to protecting our planet, our health, and future generations. Therefore, hmad|architects strives leave the best possible legacy: constructing all buildings in a way that is as energy efficient as possible, minimising CO2 emissions, designing buildings that are reusable and adaptable, and maintaining and adapting the historic environment so that it remains useful.

2. Financial Savings

Low energy design also has the obvious consumer benefit of reduced energy bills. By selecting a low energy design for your home you can make huge financial savings, in addition to reducing carbon emissions and protecting the planet. For example, a PassivHaus retrofit (EnerPHit) can decrease annual heating bills by 70-95% compared to the national average heating bill.

Sustainable design thus has the ability to drastically decrease the 2.38 million households estimated as being in fuel poverty (meaning that they spend more than 10% of their annual income on fuel use) in England as of 2014, improving living conditions, positively impacting public health and decreasing premature winter deaths through increased energy efficiency.

At hmad|architects, Exeter we use state-of-the-art EcoDesigner Star software to assess the most beneficial solutions for your property at an early stage of a project, including its predicted energy use and subsequent cost and impact on historic fabric. 

Are you looking for an Architect in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset or beyond? An Architect who can design the best use of your space and incorporate sustainable design features across your home or business? Get in touch today to discuss your residential or commercial architectural project further with one of our experienced Architects here in Exeter, Devon.

Call 01392 459 777 or email

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