- FEATURE: CAN OLD BUILDINGS BE AS GOOD AS NEW?
Posted: 03/03/2014 by Thomas Robinson ArchitectsRecent research carried out by The Mackintosh Environmental Research Institute, Towler and Hyslop Ltd Quantity Surveyors and John Gilbert Architects into methods of upgrading Glasgow`s tenements to Passivhaus Standard, contains useful data and methods that can be applied across a good range of Scotland`s solid wall traditional buildings.
It is an unfortunate reality that commercial developers, and many individuals in Scotland cannot afford to build to the same standards of much of Scotland`s Victorian and Georgian cities. By this I mean standards of materials and craftsmanship, space standards and in my own view elegance.
If you like traditional stone architecture, for you, these buildings will be more beautiful than most modern buildings, and perhaps more desirable if only they performed as well from an energy and comfort perspective.
The message from the above report and from our own knowledge and experience is that with deep refurbishment and upgrading it is possible to make a traditional building achieve standards of comfort, well in ahead of those of most standard new build houses. If we do this, it is possible that properly upgraded traditional buildings will be recognised and held at a premium.
The low fruit of all of the available measures giving the best gains, is air permeability or addressing the leakiness of the building. The tenement flats above were to be made more airtight by a factor of 17. This had more effect than adding insulation, but that is the next high priority item. Internal hygroscopic insulation against a lime render onto the stone internal face on the inside face of an important stone elevations, and on less important elevations the superior building physics of external wall insulation can be employed. Ground floors and roofs must also be highly insulated and airtight barriers added. To achieve good air quality and to recover energy, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery is introduced.
With these measures, some careful detailing and a sensible approach to windows, external doors and other obvious issues it is quite possible to refurbish flats or houses so that the occupants end up paying
- FEATURE: New Build Residences - Could opting for an off-piste architectural style reduce the value of your asset?
Posted: 06/02/2014 by Thomas Robinson ArchitectsWhen designing new build private residences for our clients Thomas Robinson Architects take a long term view of style. The style of your new build private residence will be influenced by many factors such as the local planning guidance and policies, the landscape, your architectural taste, the style of the local and surrounding buildings - will you blend in or contrast" These are to name but a few influencers on architectural style.
Another factor is the future saleability of your dream home. A glance through a recent national homes magazine suggests that attention to the future saleability of your new build private residence may be being overlooked. Houses looking like agricultural sheds abound, often walls and windows are oblique which is all very well and they may be architecturally at the cutting edge at this moment in time but will you be able to sell your cutting edge, agricultural shed in ten years' time and how big will the market be for your once trendy shed" Now you may be one of the lucky ones for whom this is not an issue but for most of us our homes are our biggest lifetime investment and future saleability is a real issue. At Thomas Robinson Architects we take this issue very serious when designing new build private residences. There is no guarantee of how the future tastes in the housing market will change but evidence suggests that historically the majority of people prefer a more traditional design or at least a modern twist within the parameters of traditional building forms. Our advice is not to go too far off-piste with the architectural style of your new build residence. If you are considering a new build residence we would welcome the chance to talk to you.
- FEATURE: ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDINGS & HIGH COMFORT LIVING
Posted: 28/01/2014 by Thomas Robinson ArchitectsWe are in the midst of winter and all the time tempted to crank up the heating to keep ourselves warm . Wouldn't it be amazing if we didn't need any heating and or our yearly energy costs were only a few hundred pounds a year.
- PROJECTS: PLANNING PERMISSION SUBMISSION ON ARRAN
Posted: 22/01/2014 by Thomas Robinson ArchitectsJanuary has been productive so far with the planning permission submission to North Ayrshire Council for a new build house on Arran. This project is the first project for Thomas Robinson Architects on the island of Arran. In this case it is a house inspired by Cape Cod American architecture. The entrance to the house is via a bridge to an open plan, triple aspect, living area with magnificent sea views and a deep deck. As with Cape Cod Architecture, the main elevations are symmetrical. The entrance elevation has two circular windows on either side of an entrance porch whilst the elevation to the sea has symmetrical banks of windows behind the three timber columns of the deck. The deep deck will protect the elevation to the sea from the elements and provide a real indoor - outdoor space for dining and relaxing. Cape Cod Architecture was largely driven by climate influences and this will be no different on the west coast of Scotland. Fluctuating Cape Cod temperatures presented the problem of moisture which was addressed by using wainscoting. It is proposed to use horizontal, stained, larch cladding on the house in Arran.
If you have a project in mind we would be happy to talk to you about it.
- PROJECTS: SPREADING THE WORD
Posted: 10/01/2014 by Thomas Robinson ArchitectsThomas Robinson Architects' role in the refurbishment of a landmark church in the South Side of Glasgow has been highlighted in the latest edition of Life and Work magazine.
- FEATURE: IN THE FRAME
Posted: 28/11/2013 by Thomas Robinson ArchitectsAlthough we have designed many houses, the excitement of seeing a building at the stage of coming out of the ground never lessens.
We have reached that eagerly-awaited moment with our latest development in a wonderful rural setting and it is particularly exciting as this project involves a steel-framed house.
It is designed, as always, to maximise the site, the light and the views for our clients. As you can see from the photograph above, the form of the building is taking shape and we look forward to charting its progress over the next few months.