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4 NEWS


Managing Editor James Parker jparker@netmagmedia.co.uk


Publisher Anthony Parker aparker@netmagmedia.co.uk


Editorial Co-ordinator Shelley Collyer


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FROM THE EDITOR


N


ow that life is beginning to return to normal (although you may be employing a very ‘mixed’ strategy in terms of your work location), it’s time to once again confront another, bigger picture. The climate change agenda, unlike hopefully Covid, is not going to retreat


to a dormant threat – it’s going to slowly intensify as we approach the seemingly mythical zero deadline in 2050.


We may all be feeling ‘crisis fatigue,’ because we have been in a state of crisis of some kind for so long, meaning that dynamic action may seem hard to generate, on a consistent basis. But that is what is needed – in terms of the numbers of interventions to our building stock old and new in order to make the difference.


And Passivhaus may well be the answer, or at least the standard which pulls up the rest of the industry behind it. It’s a ‘no-brainer’ for the converts but also an increasing cohort of agnostic professionals, and clients, who know that buildings’ energy use, in a fossil-fuel-free future, is the elephant in the room that must be at least, sedated, if not altogether captured.


Passivhaus’ higher insulation and generally more robust construction approach means a cost uplift of between 1.1 and 4.3 per cent. This is a difficult pill to swallow for some clients in the current situation, particularly in areas like retail, although arguably as ‘open’ buildings they’ll never really be a true fit for Passivhaus. But with a focus on reducing whole life costs such as bills for owners, and addressing the Future Homes Standard, not to mention the Government’s new interim 78 per cent carbon reduction target in 2035, it seems a cost we should bear. The point is, will the Government underwrite projects, perhaps in volume housebuilding or precarious sectors like retail, to back up its goals?


Air quality is another issue that is increasingly in focus, and Passivhaus requires you to recover not only heat but to ventilate with fresh air, so unlike other low energy measures, air quality is ‘baked in.’ Plus there’s also the scope to export green energy to the national grid, which many Passivhaus owners are already enjoying.


Annual subscription costs just £48 for 12 issues, including post and packing. Phone 01435 863500 for details. Individual copies of the publication are available at £5 each inc p & p. All rights reserved


No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, including photocopying, recording or stored in any information retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in Architects Datafile, the publisher can accept no responsibility for the claims or opinions made by contributors, manufacturers or advertisers. Editorial contributors to this journal may have made a payment towards the reproduction costs of material used to illustrate their products. The manufacturer of the paper used within our publication is a Chain-of-Custody certified supplier operating within environmental systems certified to both ISO 14001 and EMAS in order to ensure sustainable production. Printed in England


Take-up is still disappointingly low in the UK however, compared with other countries, despite the established benefits and the capital wealth we possess. Our White Paper report on page 25 looks at the reasons for this, according to the architects we surveyed, but also at a range of other factors which make Passivhaus a wise, but sometimes challenging choice for future construction. Our survey also shows that it could help restore architects’ roles to a more central voice in projects, because every aspect of the design is taken into account as crucial to the overall performance, and this needs professional scrutiny and control throughout.


The map to zero carbon – Passivhaus – exists, whether or not you choose to follow it all the way to the destination.


James Parker Editor


05.21


NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE INNOVATION CENTRE, WARWICK Cullinan Studio’s design for the University of Warwick’s cutting-edge research facility for future vehicles combines collaboration with privacy


KING’S COLLEGE SCHOOL SPORTS CENTRE, WIMBLEDON A new sports complex that features an award-winning timber roof


ON THE COVER... Designed by Cullinan Studio, the National Automotive Innovation Centre at the University of Warwick has one of the world’s largest engineered timber roofs, and has picked up several awards since its completion. Cover image © Hufton+Crow For the full report on this project, go to page 37


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ADF MAY 2021


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