15 December 2010

Stoke Retrofit Making Great Progress On Site...

Site visit yesterday to Stoke on Trent ' Retrofit for the Future' Project with Sanctuary Housing. The new timber triple-glazed windows are in and looking fantastic. It's been noticed that as well as keeping the heat in the house during construction, they also provide great sound-proofing to outside noise.
It's also been noticed on site that now the air-barrier and insulation is all installed to the main house, it's so warm to work inside the house, even during the really cold spell of weather we've been having. 

Now the main house air-tight membrane has been installed and the windows are in, an air-test was carried out last week mid-construction - (the rear extension not yet built due to snow, so large opening in rear of ground floor was sealed with large sheet of membrane).
A result of 4 was achieved - a fantastic improvement from the existing result of 17 from the  test the Energy Saving Trust carried out - but still a way to go to our target of 1.

Main leakage points were the party walls where existing plaster patched, so skim coat to entire party wall to be carried our. Also leaks from electrical back boxes in the party wall, so to be re-bedded with plaster behind the boxes.

Project due for completion in January - so keep posted and check out the project blog more info on the project.

6 December 2010

Doreen Lawrence Officially Opens ATA's Tulse Hill Teenage Couples Housing

Doreen Lawrence, the human rights campaigner and mother of Stephen Lawrence, has opened a new housing scheme in south London.

The Teenage Couples housing scheme designed by Anne Thorne Architects, conceived by Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) housing association Ekaya, where Mrs Lawrence is now patron, was officially launched in Tulse Hill, Lambeth, after a year-long trial period. The project is designed to support and facilitate vulnerable couples at risk of homelessness and prepare them for independent living.

The Tulse Hill supported scheme consists of seven one-bedroom self-contained flats for young couples and their child. It has highly insulated brick cavity walls, roofs and floors, and solar thermal panels nestled on green roofs that supply hot water to the flats.

View News Article

1 December 2010

Toasty Toes!

Lots of warm and happy in our office at the moment, as we've finally got rid of our energy hungry electric heating, and installed fantastic gas powered central heating, with a high-efficiency combi-boiler - and just in time, as snow fell and temperatures dropped in Temple Yard!

Took a lot of negotiating with the landlord - highlights the issues of encouraging private landlords to carry out energy-saving measures on their tenanted properties, as it's us, not them, who are going to benefit from a warmer winter and lower fuel bills (as well as dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of the office).

We'd carried our measures to reduce our energy use by removing half the fluorescent bulbs in our light fittings (each fitting had two bulbs - one bulb gives out plenty of light); over-boarded and sealed the perimeter of our timber floor below us to prevent draughts; and internally insulated external walls - snug!

26 November 2010

Site Open Day MHT Retrofit

ATA hosted an 'in progress' open day on site at the Hawthorn Road 'Retrofit for the Future' project, to show the build in progress.
The external insulation to the rear of the house is looking fantastic, and even though the build is still in progress, the rooms on the first floor felt very warm, considering it was a cold day, and the front and rear doors were open. 

There will be a final open day when the Retrofit is complete on the 7th January 2011, so will keep you posted for further details.

18 November 2010

Jennie on course to become Certified European Passivhaus Designer

Jennie at ATA has just completed the second part of her intensive training course at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow (Jennie is second from right on the front row of the thermal imaging photo of the course!).

The course provides advanced training for architects and designers already experienced in energy optimised construction and renovation, and learn the fundamentals of planning and building cost-efficient Passive Houses and buildings.

Once qualified, ATA will be certified to design and deliver cost-effective passivhaus projects to the stringent energy and design standards set down by the Passivhaus Institute.

"The course has been fascinating, really testing my understanding of building physics, along with practical exoerience of air-testing and thermal imaging.
It's also been particulary interesting being based in Scotland, where a number of passivhaus projects have already been realised. The timber-frame 'kit' industry in Scotland is really gearing up to be able to deliver passivhaus standard construction cost-effectively, and it's been great to be meet with fellow passivhaus enthusiasts north of the border"

12 November 2010

Fran Bradshaw's Blog on Creativity & Housing (& Hemp!)

I went over to Belfast this week to join the PLACE (N Ireland Architecture Centre) Conference series on Creativity and Innovation in the Northern Ireland Construction Industry, and present a couple of ATA projects. 
The theme - Creativity and Housing - was illustrated by some fascinating schemes. I got to stay in one of them, a new Hemp Cottage in County Down by Rachel Bevan Architects, which was built using temporary shuttering, in lifts each about 800mm high. The hemp is mixed with lime and tamped just enough to keep it together and not enough to lose its insulating qualities, achieving a flexible solid wall construction which is uniform with no joints. The result is a very stable internal temperature and indoor air quality, and a delightful place to stay.

9 November 2010

Stoke-On-Trent Retrofit on Site!

ATA's 'Retrofit for the Future' project for an existing terrace house for Sanctuary Housing began on site on September 27th.  
We are using Passivhaus principles and components, concentrating on a 'Fabric First' approach to dramatically reduce the energy demand and CO2 emissions for this hard-to-heat terrace house in Hanley, Stoke-On-Trent.
Solar thermal water heating is provided, along with passivhaus certified heat recovery ventilation. These works will result in an 80% reduction in the existing house's energy demand and carbon emissions.
The project is to be monitored for 2 years by the energy saving trust on completion, and we hope to evidence that the tenants will enjoy a comfortable and warm , draught-free internal environment with vastly reduced energy bills.

Follow the project blog here

3 November 2010

Guest Blog: Naomi's Work Experience at ATA

All at ATA were delighted to have Naomi De Barr with them for a week of work experience last week. Naomi did some fantastic work for us whilst she was here, including some fantastic cardboard model-making. Naomi is in the final year of her A Levels and intends to study architecture at university next year. Here's Naomi's guest blog on her week at ATA:

"I was very grateful to obtain a week’s work experience at Anne Thorne Architects last week. The week was truly inspiring, I learnt so much. I made a model of a real project and expanded it using Google SketchUp. It was fantastic to be able to contribute some of my own ideas and try as far as possible to meet the brief given. I visited the site on Hawthorn Road and was interested to see the process of designing such an energy efficient house. The week opened my eyes to what being an architect will be like and it was wonderful to be in an environment where everyone was willing to give advice and offer their help. Thank you for such a beneficial experience!"  

29 October 2010

Pin The Catch...

'The Catch', an artwork by artist Loraine Leeson of cSPACE in collaboration with Anne Thorne Architect's has been voted by the public to represent as the most popular local london landmark to represent the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham on a special pin badge to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics!

The Catch is a gateway public artwork for Barking Town Centre that reflects the borough's Saxon heritage and involvement in the fishing industry.

28 October 2010

Fran to speak at 'Creativity & Housing' conference

Fran Bradshaw of ATA is to speak at the 'Creativity & Housing in Northern Ireland' conference in Belfast on Wednesday 10th November, organised by PLACE - The Architecture and Built Environment Centre for Northern Ireland.

The conference will explore best practice housing examples from the UK and elsewhere, showcasing creativity and innovation, and Fran will be talking about ATA's innovative natural materials approach to low energy and passivhaus retrofits, and our award-winning Bateman Mews social housing scheme.

26 October 2010

Sustainable Housing Awards 2010 Finalist

Anne Thorne Architect's have been nominated as finalists in the 'Sustainable Social Housing Design Consultancy of the Year' at the Sustainable Housing Awards 2010!
The nomination highlights ATA's ground-breaking work in this sector for projects such as Angela Carter Close, Bateman Mews, Tulse Hill, Boatemah Walk, and Retrofit for the Future projects.
Sustainable Housing Awards 2010

22 October 2010

Hawthorn Road Retrofit for the Future on site...!

ATA's Natural Materials Retrofit for the Future project is well underway on site with contractors Sandwood Design & Build.
All the structural works are now complete, and the majority of wood-fibre party-wall insulation has been installed and had it's first coat of lime plaster. The external walls are to internally lined with sheepswool insulation. These are all hygroscopic 'breathable' materials to deal naturally with fabric and internal moisture vapour.
The mechanical heat recovery ventilation and solar thermal kit are next to go in.
The contractor's are taking fantastic care over our air-tight detailing, and the tenants are busy choosing paint colours for when they move in.

6 October 2010

Fran to Talk at Launch Institute of Sustainability

Fran Bradshaw of ATA spoke at the launch of Institute of Sustainability's new FLASH programme at the RIBA today. The FLASH programme aims to help London-based SME's working in the construction industry to lead the move towards a low carbon economy through sustainable development and retrofit projects, such as Retrofit for the Future, that ATA are involved with.

The aim of FLASH is to create networks that can disseminate and share information to help SME's take advantage of the commercial opportunities in gearing up for future low carbon retrofit programmes.

4 October 2010

Batemans Mews Shortlisted for Special RIBA Award!

ATA are delighted to announce that following our RIBA London Award 2010, 1-5 Bateman Mews was short-listed for the prestigious RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize 2010.  This special RIBA Award recognises the best example of projects that have a construction budget of under £1 million.

Anne and Junko of ATA attended the glitzy RIBA Stirling Prize Awards dinner at the Roundhouse in Camden, broadcast live on BBC2, to see Zaha Hadid collect her long overdue Stirling Prize.

Bateman Mews Shortlisted for RIBA Special Award

3 October 2010

AECB Conference 2010

Fran, Zana, Huw and Jennie of ATA attended the fantastic AECB Conference held in the beautiful new WISE building at the Centre of Alternative Technology in Wales.

Highlights of the conference were a thought-provoking speech by George Monbiot; Workshops on complete (and certified!) UK passivhaus projects by AECB members; Air-tight installation workshops; inspiring community self-building in Bristol; and a fantastic tour of the WISE building by architect's Pat Borer and David Lea.
Each space in the WISE building had an amazing quality of natural light, with each space having a minimum of two sources of natural light; and the connection to the surrounding landscape related to every room having immediate door access to the outdoors. A very special building.
Lots to think about........already looking forward to next years conference!

1 October 2010

ATAP becomes LLP!

We are delighted that ATAP partners Anne Thorne and Frances Bradshaw have been joined by well established members of the team; Zana Dean, Junko Suetake, Rute Ferreira and Jennie Swain to form the new Anne Thorne Architects LLP.

Anne Thorne Architects LLP will be continuing the innovative work of Anne Thorne Architects Partnership, and we look forward to a fantastic green future of the LLP. 

15 September 2010

ATA on Ashden Awards 2010 Shortlist

ATA were shortlisted for the prestigious Ashden Awards 2010 last year, amongst a fantastic shortlist of projects and environmental groups and communities striving to make a real difference to sustainable energy solutions right across the UK and the developing world.

ATA were shortlisted for their long history and work in the field of sustainable low-carbon design with projects such as Boatemah Walk, Batemans Mews, Angela Carter Close, Granville Plus, and many more.

The judges were particularly impressed with the way that ATA have worked with building users, and also emphasised post-occupancy studies in our practice.

See here for more info Ashden Awards 2010