28 November 2012

58 Thermal Images at Eco Hub

Many many thanks go to our AECB friend, Andrew Pratt at RETANE Thermal Images. He has come over to the Eco Hub with his thermal image camera. The thermal images can identify inconsistency on the thermal envelop. 

The contrast could be because of the construction geometry, which nothing is wrong to have, moisture content, emissivity, reflected temperature, atmospheric temperature, distance, heat loss at air/moisture leaks, or missing insulation. The building was not heated for a long enough period (just 8 hours almost for the first time. A heavier structure had not had time to heat up yet) so that it will be very useful to take images again soon at the same positions, well, at 58 locations! The room temperature was just 18.5 degrees. Outside was 9.9 degrees.
Thank you for your detailed advice too, Andrew!
- Junko

13 November 2012

UK Passivhaus Conference 2012 visits

The UK Passivhaus conference #UKPHC12
was full of tantalising glimpses into projects one wants to know much more about!

What did you think about our presentation of the EcoHub?

Conference exhaustion was followed by site visits - see people above - listening to the Headteacher at Architype's charming school. I found most interesting the stories about less use of athsma inhalers at the school, and at Interserve's office, they had just checked statistics and found significantly reduced sick leave. 

Also the cool (rather than warm)  boiler room at Oak Meadow school was impressive!

C404 raises money for garden planting

Funny and enjoyable Poetry and Music evening garden fundraiser at Centre 404, refurbished by ATA, in a delightfully sparkling hall on 10th November. We didn't win the raffle, but enjoyed ourselves. How much was raised? We are looking forward to the planting!

2 November 2012

The Retro-Expo Awards 2012 report

Cath Jordan from Sanctuary Housing and Simon Thompson from Seddons, the contractors, joined Fran Bradshaw of ATA at the Retro-Expo awards on the 31st October, to celebrate 23 St Luke Street retrofit as a finalist for the Domestic Retrofit Project of the Year award.

This is the first year of the Expo Retro and the Awards, which were introduced by Birmingham City Councillor who reminded people what retrofit is doing in terms of making people's lives more comfortable as well as lowering energy bills.

Awards for innovation included a heat recovery Passivent system, and I was delighted that Penny Poysner - who introduced the AECB summer conference - and her partner Gill Sholom won the DECC pioneer award - for long term contribution to low carbon retrofit.

The AECB stall was buzzing as ever, and it was clearly the first ExpoRetro of many!

25 October 2012

Don't forget this year's Passivhaus conference!

This year's Passivhaus conference, taking place on 7 - 9th November in Nottingham, will surely be another great event, possibly the best of the year for sharing experiences and learning from great minds about all things passivhaus. We look forward to the fantastic line-up of knowledgeable speakers and site visits. Fran will be there discussing the Ecohub project. More info and programme here. We hope to see you there!

17 October 2012

Stoke house retrofit shortlisted for award

23 St Luke Street has been shortlisted for Domestic Retrofit Project of the Year in the Retro Expo Awards. Nearly 100 entries were received and the judges were extremely impressed with the high quality across the board. The Awards will be presented at an evening reception on Wednesday 31 October at Retro Expo. More info on our website.

10 October 2012

Two years later: Review of Lewisham self-build scheme

Project review visit at Beechmont Close, two years after completion - the project designed with and for 12 young people from the housing list, who trained in building skills at college and worked on site with the contractor for the whole construction period. The place is in beautiful condition, confirming all our hopes about the young people's feelings of ownership for the place, and the guys who do the regular maintenance have been giving it 'gold' - see picture. Of the young people, one has gone on to qualify and work as a bricklayer, and nearly all are in work although one sadly lost his flat as a result of being involved in the riots last year, which I was very sorry to hear. 
The contractor - Enterprise - site foreman is still in touch with the young people on a regular basis, and the experience has been a boost to his career development too. Overall a real inspiration!

21 September 2012

Open House London 2012 Update

On the 22nd September, we will be at Centre 404 (Islington) and Eco-hub (site plan, Lordship Recreation Ground, Haringey) between 1-5 pm for Open House 2012. We are looking forward to seeing you.

We had expected the completion of the Eco-hub by now but Vinci Construction UK Ltd have been there for final touch. Therefore, the cafe has not been ready yet, but there will be our guided tour , presentation sheets and a lot of fun and food in the park by the Lordship Rec Festival.
See beautiful new river in the park! Also, the nearest Open House, which you may visit, is the Bruce Castle Museum along with a fantastic lion scaffolding sculpture, 'Park Art in Haringey' in the garden.

20 September 2012

21st century homes event by the Highgate Society

On saturday I spoke about 'deep retrofit' at the 21st Century Homes event organised by the Highgate Society. A series of talks by experts included advice on all aspects of sustainable retrofit, the ones I heard were about boilers and solar hot water, about windows, about understanding the whole performance of the house, and they were extremely good and to the point. There were also stalls so that you could really look at insulation products, or different types of windows. When I arrived at midday on saturday the place was seething with people and humming with a busy exchange of ideas.

Apparently more than 200 visitors signed in at the event, and the following day, about 75 visits were made to local houses. Many of the visitors said they were about to embark on house projects and were actively seeking ideas and information, and that the event had been really useful to them.

This could be a great model for local areas, and it is inspiring that this organisiation, which is concerned about the quality of the historic buildings and environment is thinking so creatively about the future.

11 September 2012

Eco-hub shortlisted for sustainability award

The Eco-hub at Lordship Park has been been shortlisted in the category of 'Sustainable Project of the Year' by the Builder and Engineer Awards 2012! Good choice!

15 August 2012

Open House London 2012

 ATA's entry this year - If you have the guide book already, see page 35 for the Environment Centre (now called Eco-Hub) and page 41 for Centre 404, both for Saturday afternoon 22nd September. 
See our blog on 7 August too!

The Guide is available at the Open House website.

8 August 2012

External Porch

A well ventilated & beautiful porch - reminded me about a Passive House. An external porch should be clearly outside the thermal envelop and ventilated in order to avoid condensation.

Photographs from my summer trip in Japan.


7 August 2012

Lordship Rec Festival

To cerebrate the completion of the Environment Centre (now called Eco-Hub) and the park, the Lordship Rec Users Forum are launching a big festival on 22nd September 1-5 pm.

Besides the Open-House London at the Eco-Hub, there will be sports 
activities, cycling, games, dance, music, children's arts and play, and refreshment at the Eco-Hub cafe!

Festival Flyer and map are downloadable from their website.

Come and join!  And see you at the Eco-Hub.


6 August 2012

Gearing up for Open House London

This year ATA will have two buildings open to the public during the Open House London weekend taking place on 22nd-23rd September.

Eco-hub -  the centrepiece of the regeneration and transformation of the historic Lordship Recreation Grounds, which has been designed to exemplary sustainable standards, including community-built straw bale walls, timber foundations, green roof, MVHR and natural materials and finishes.

Centre 404 (pictured) - a newly refurbished and extended Victorian villa with a non-institutional feel, taking consideration of environmental factors and energy efficiency.The centre on Camden Road is home to a charity supporting people with learning difficulties and their families.

Watch this space, more details closer to the event!

11 July 2012

Centre 404 awaits hot summer

The green Oak pergola is complete and the vine ready to grow across to produce the first year of Chateau Caledonia wine (name yet to be confirmed)!

And last month we had the pleasure of showing designer and photographer Amandine Alessandra around the building - have a look at some of her work in progress photos of Centre 404 on our website.

9 July 2012

AECB conference 2012

Detailed and wide ranging workshops featured at the annual AECB conference this year, as well as the best opportunity to meet up with the most knowledgable green people around. Having been involved in organising it, I still managed to enjoy it enormously - the only problem was wanting to go to workshops that were happening at the same time!

On the wide ranging, I heard Blanche Cameron from Resit talking about unusual partnerships for change, she had some great examples of action where one would least expect it - and Chris Baines also talked about working on the Elephant scheme to retain a huge mature tree canopy as a starting point for redevelopment while Neil May talked about an 'uncertainty principle' approach to retrofit.

On the detail, some great discussion of ventilation from Mark Siddall and WARM Associates, retrofit and dealing with moisture by Andy Simmons among others. It will all be on the website soon, so do go and have a look at those you missed.

Have a look at the AJ's Footptint blog on this year's conference.

The Passivhaus masterclass on saturday with Wolfgang Feist was also a great success.
Thanks to Nick for the picture!

1 June 2012

Anne Thorne on ITV news

Anne talks about women in the building industry in the last 60 years: 'Change is happening, it's just a bit slow and it needs to speed up'.
The news crew visited ATA's projects Environment Centre and Granville Plus. Watch the full movie here.

28 May 2012

iNDUSTRY workspace 3rd birthday bash

Lovely friday afternoon celebrating our joint office industry on adelaide wharf just across the road from Haggerston Park, with home-made delicacies and local beer from London fields micro-brewery. More photos courtesy of Stefan Mueller here

25 May 2012

London's public realm conference

On the first day of summer, that's what it felt like, I cycled down to Toynbee Hall to attend the 'Changing Spaces: Sustaining good design and creative intervention in London's public realm'. This is a familiar area as I and others have been doing small projects here with students on the London Met foundation in architecture course. It's easy to forget about this tucked away institution and I was glad to have an excuse to come back.

The conference was jointly organised by Open City (formerly known as Open House) who are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and the London Borough of Enfield. Lee Mallet from Urbik Limited and Greater London Publishing kicked off with tales of places that attract artists, mostly anecdotal tales of Shoreditch back in the day. He was followed by Suzie Zuber from Open City (I love their simple and evocative slogan: 'opening eyes, minds and doors') who went over their work with young people, advocacy & enabling and design reviews  - quite a bit more than just the September open house weekend.

23 May 2012

Fabric First day at the sparkling new CoRE building in Longton, Stoke. It has a roof packed with pv panels, and a great view of the pottery factory with bottle kilns being refurbished for the conference centre. Not sure of their future use, I asked if they were going to be seminar pods?The place feels jumping with proposals, including a report from Stoke Council on their plans for an electricity generating and low energy Stoke - proposals include using waste heat from ceramics factories.  Andrew Ainsworth of Room 4 consulting, presented the report, 'Fabric First and Refurbishment Excellence: Up-skilling to Deliver the Green Deal and Beyond', follows months of research into the skills and training needs of the construction industry, which you can download from their website. Neil May spoke about the lack of proper research into how to work with traditional buildings, Lynne Sullivan on retrofitting to scale - a tower block in London using PHPP as guide, which neatly followed my talk on St Luke St in Stoke, the Retrofit for the Future house, which was designed with phpp.

19 May 2012

site visit

Last week I have been busy taking part in the AECB Certified Passivhaus Designer Course - and inevitably kept thinking about our Passivhaus Environment Centre. During last week the site made remarkable progress as ever - amongst other things, the cellulose fibre insulation has been injected into the roof and floor voids. Straw Works and the volunteers, who have been looking after every layer and corner of the render and plaster, were giving a final touch before they leave the site for two weeks at the end of today. Next week, the floor will be cleared to receive the air-tightness membrane. 

As many migrant birds fly over, I wonder whether they will recognise a new land mark in the reborn Lordship Recreation Ground!

16 May 2012

London 2012 sustainable design by Hattie Hartman

Went to Hattie's book launch last night - it's a great guide to what is really interesting about the olympics. For those who are looking for good design and longterm sustainability she highlights how targeting, one planet 2012, and carbon footprinting have helped to keep a sustainable design in people's minds.

John Lyall spoke about his thoughtful and charming pumping station and other sewage related projects - one of which we can only see from the train, and Chris Bannister from Hopkins about the Velodrome. These might be the best of the buildings for the long term.


9 May 2012

London UK is the best place in the world for passivhaus!

‘London UK is the best place in the world for passivhaus!‘ says Wolfgang Feist at this years International Passivhaus conference.

Researchers demonstrate that passivhaus works pretty in much every climate, except for some exceptionally cold spots like in Siberia and Greenland, and in the Australian desert.

Wolfgang reported back on the impact of hot and humid climates, or extremely cold climates, and showed that in parts of the world  triple glazing will be appropriate not to keep the heat in but to keep it out (see climate map).

Pos-architecture described the new Austrian embassy in Jakarta which has sensors which close windows which have been left open too long to maintain temperatures, and beautifully designed shading.

female power in architecture

Kathryn, 21, Part I student, reports on the female power in architecture talk at the RIBA

Twenty twelve has been a year for women in architecture, and to continue this, Fran and I attended the Female Power in Architecture talk hosted by the RIBA. There was a good turn out and the overall evening was a great experience.

The guest speakers were asked three questions: what was their highest achievement, what was the secret to their success and where women in the profession will be in 20 years time. There were some strong speaker such as Alison Brooks and Deborah Saunt, with discussions about the importance of confidence and collaboration ('bigger companies helping smaller companies'), and how architecture is 'not about making objects'.

1 May 2012

the future of part L

Good Homes Alliance ran a useful afternoon on 26th April, focussing on part L future changes. We wait to hear the outcome of the consultation but if 2013 is only 8% improvement on present, the jump to 2016 becomes unlikely - lets hope they go for the proposed 25%. Everyone is rather tired of Government inability to just get on with it! Great to hear about Rowntree and Orbit case studies.

25 April 2012

climate change at the heart of planning

I went to the TCPA/FoE parliamentary launch of the planning for climate change - guidance and approaches for local authorities today. Planning and Climate Change Coalition is a cross sector non-political grouping of over 50 organisations, led by the TCPA (Town and Country Planning Association) and Friends of the Earth (FoE), the Guide is to provide comprehensible guidance to local authorities on planning for climate change.

Hugh Ellis for the TCPA introduced it saying that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) empowers the Climate Act into planning strategies for the first time, and as the Climate Act incorporates fixed targets, these have become the responsibility of planning policy. This seems impressive, but Bob Neil, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government in response to a later question said that he thought targets were a mistake, and this does seem to represent Government thinking - it seems Government might not mind missing the Climate Act targets.

brighton crits

A pleasure to see Studio One 2nd years's work at Brighton yesterday. Alex Arestis and Ben Sweetting's briefs challenge students to imagine an urbanised future scenario for the town of Winchelsea, once again an important costal city following flooding. Winchelsea's history is fascinating and the briefs allow students to imagine their own stories for the place. So the critics saw the small peninsula transformed into a wildlife and animal park, a trendy bike-only fashion district, a centre for religious studies inspired by palimpsests, a place for getting lost in dance, a magnificent station for a fast rail link, a series of islands for golf players, a labyrinthian masonic lodge and a fishing village - amongst others. Thanks for having me!

3 April 2012

AJ footprint visits the environment centre

Michelle Price from the AJ's sustainability blog Footprint spent a morning on site with the design team, contractors and volunteers and reported back on what she saw. Read the full article here.

23 March 2012

straw bale

Thursday 22nd March was the third day of straw-bale building at the Environment Centre at Lordship Recreational Grounds - a lot of people working on site! It's fantastic to have the roof done first, now one is able to see the actual scale and outline of the building. There will be a lot of volunteers on the site from Monday 26th March onwards and a few of us at ATA will aim to be there to enjoy seeing this building emerge. Come and see us!
For more details call AT Architects on 020 7749 6931

22 March 2012

never mind the greenwash

Hello from Fran at the AECB stall at this year's ecobuild.

19 March 2012

that time of year: ecobuild

Fran will be speaking at ecobuild on Wednesday 21st. You can catch her at the Sustainable Architecture & Design talk at 12:30, where she'll be talking about community regeneration and education and presenting ATA's project Lordship Park environment centre, alongside Paul Elly, policy and development manager oflordship recreation ground, LB Haringey.

Later on at 4:30 she'll be discussing the refurbishment of mid-terrace properties to Passivhaus standard using as example projects Hawthorn Road (London) and St Luke's Street (Stoke on Trent). Both talks will take place at south gallery 9 & 10.

Or can come and say hello to her and others at the AECB stand. And Junko will be at the Passivhaus stand (N64) from 2:00.

Happy ecobuilding!

8 March 2012

happy international women's day

Drawing by Fran
(who is now back!)

Just want to say thanks to ATA for restorative sabbatical leave in south France, where I walked and painted, thank you all!  Fran

6 March 2012

ATA completes first houses at West Hendon

Family houses designed by Anne Thorne Architects LLP for client Barratt Metropolitan LLP are the first to be completed on the large West Hendon regeneration scheme, which is a partnership project between Metropolitan Housing Partnership, Barratt Homes and the London Borough of Barnet.

The eight houses on the pilot scheme - a terrace on Sorrel Mead and a semi- detached pair on Cool Oak Lane, are off the West Hendon Broadway and a 10-minute walk from theWelsh Harp reservoir, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Popular memory recalls sailing and boating on the reservoir and the triangular geometry of gables and bay windows on the houses are a visual play on that history. The houses are a mixture of two and three storey for 5-7 persons.

you are doing a fabulous job, well done everyone!

The beginning of March saw the wider team at centre 404 - volunteers, staff and trustees, visit site to inspect progress.

Jean Wilson OBE, Chair of Centre 404 says:
I was SO excited to visit the building, it looks amazing, even better than I had visualised. Architects, builders and Amy, you are doing a FABULOUS job, well done everyone!

James Humber and Katy Anderson from the Learning and Leisure Team:
We are really excited to see how flexible and open the new activity spaces will be for all the members who come to our after school, evening and weekend clubs. There is so much more space that is multi-functional now and it will provide us with many opportunities to grow new and different services. Our members enjoyed the space before we moved out,  the team just can’t wait to see everyone come back into a fabulous new building!

And volunteers co-ordinator Carla Grauls was excited about the new garden room:
We can’t wait to get started with all the re-planting to bring our garden back to life, we will be busy looking at putting in some lovely pots on the new patios and planting lots of colourful flowers and climbers. Our garden volunteers have missed it so much and we are looking forward to coming back and having a nice garden room for our group to have lunch!

You can read more about the progress of the works on Centre 404's site diary blog.

10 February 2012

progress on site despite snow and frost

Timber framed cassettes that will form the ground floor arrived on site today. These will be fully filled with insulation manufactured from recycled newspaper.
The pond in front of the Environment Centre in the Lordship Recreational Ground is currently frozen... The cafe in this building will be a fantastic place to stay warm and look out during the snowy season next year!

See more about the Environment Centre at Lordship Recreational Grounds by ATA here

29 January 2012

junko reports on the environment centre

The construction work at the Environment Centre at Lordship Recreational Ground in Haringey finally got rolling after a few months break. The timber floor beams have landed on site: fifty-four piles are supporting the main structure. The floor joists will arrive this week. ATA and the design team have been busy working on the final check. The straw bale building is designed to Passivhaus standard.  

23 January 2012

ATA in the triodos magazine

An article about ATA in the beautifully produced The Colour of Money, Triodos Bank's quarterly publication.
As Zana pointed out this issue is all about food so it's quite nice to have some fine sustainable architecture thrown in!
Triodos is a global pioneer of sustainable banking whose mission is to make money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change. It's worth checking them and their clients out.
You can read the article here.

16 January 2012

women in practice

The AJ's January issue focusses on women in practice and features contributions from Anne Thorne Architects to Zaha Hadid.
You can have a look on line or get a copy from the RIBA bookshop.

Below is an unedited extract of the questions by Fran and Rute.

11 January 2012

photographing the pilot houses at West Hendon

The Pilot scheme for the West Hendon Regeneration designed by ATA for clients Barratt Metropolitan LLP is nearing completion and families are moving into the houses next week. A delightful day was spent in the company of architectural photographer Ioana Marinescu talking to her about spaces and capturing the site in the beautiful winter light. We can't wait to see the result.

6 January 2012

an office move, good conferences and interesting projects - 2011 wasn't that bad

January must be a  good time for reflections on 2011- skating speedily over those endless discussions about the Green Deal mechanisms and possible effectiveness - high points were enormous jumps in interest and actual delivery of Passivhaus buildings, and consolidation of Passivhaus Trust as a great UK enabling organisation, and the conference was great.

For ATA a wonderful celebration of 20 years since founding in 1991, twenty years of hard but absorbing work on community and green projects - gave the team some overwhelmingly fantastic feedback, everyone felt sky high - then a move to Industry - from gently decaying mews in Bethnal Green (pictured) to zippy regenerated new offices in Haggerston - where we are well settled in and warm at last.