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!"