- FEATURE: HISTORIC SCOTLAND – Energy Efficiency Conference 2014
Posted: 06/10/2014 by Thomas Robinson ArchitectsThis year’s Historic Scotland conference was yet again a wealth of information for the past, current and future of works in association with traditionally built buildings.
Tom Robinson and Kevin Stewart attended the event from Thomas Robinson Architects and were presented with best practices, guides and case studies for various forms of existing buildings, all with the common goal to improve their building insulation fabric.
Amongst other things, we learned that in 2015 there will be further changes to the Energy section of the Scottish Building Regulations.
In 2010 the regulations changes to achieve a reduction of 30% to what was previously required. In 2015, designs will require to achieve a further 43% reduction compared to 2010, with the standards now including “large extensions” which previously was not the case.
To achieve a reduction in energy usage, designs will require additional insulation and be less “leaky” to keep the warm air in. The result is that designers must be more aware than ever before of the environments they design, keeping air movement, moisture and detailing at the forefront of their design vision, otherwise buildings will become warm, humid and damp environments which are breading grounds for building and occupant health issues.
We look forward to applying the knowledge gained from the conference.
- NEWS: Tom Robinson Invited to talk at the UK Passivhaus Conference
Posted: 09/09/2014 by Thomas Robinson ArchitectsTom Robinson has been invited to talk at the UK Passivhaus Conference on 16th October 2014
Tom is presenting a case study talk this year on applying the Passivhouse Enerphit standard to rejuvenate a humble, Scottish Barn into and transforming it into an exciting and luxurious modern country residence. The conference is in Stevenage this year and will be a fascinating window into what is happening around the country in the Passivhaus field and for Thomas Robinson Architects it is a chance to show how technical challenges can be overcome to achieve this exacting standard. This project builds on the practice's previous success of the barn conversion in Gartocharn where we won the GIA sustainability award by acheiving AECB silver standard construction with the addition of several Passivhaus elements including MVHR and Enerphit standard of airtightness in oneof the units. The Gartocharn project can be viewed here.https://www.thomasrobinsonarchitects.co.uk/residential/projects/gartocharn-1
For further details of the Passivhaus Conference please follow the link below.
- NEWS: 15 YEARS AGO TODAY.........
Posted: 26/06/2014 by Thomas Robinson ArchitectsWe would like to thank all our clients, colleagues and peers for their support during the last 15 years and look forward to doing business with you for the next 15 years.
- PROJECTS: PLANNING CONSENT FOR CROSBIE LODGE
Posted: 09/06/2014 by Thomas Robinson ArchitectsPlanning consent for the expansion of Crosbie Lodge, West Kilbride was received this week. An ambitious scheme to triple the size of this atractive Victorian gate house was developed using the twin concepts of allowing some of the additions to be subordinate to the existing historic property in line with accepted conservation / historic building work good practice and the bolder notion of a new two strorey tower addition to the otherwise single storey building with attic dormers. The tower is designed in an italiante style with triple arched windows at first floor level and a low pitched pyramid roof with finial and projecting eaves consul brackets and external cornice work. We considered that the towers proportions and verticality would allow for the significant additional area to be created in a way that would add somnething to the already romantic or whimsical character of the of the building. The successful planning result means that our clients now have the size of house that they want. If you are having difficulty obtaining planning permission we would be happy to talk to you about your project.
- 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.