Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gordon Smith Architect, Kendal

Mixing the old with the new when extending a house in always interesting. Working as an architect in Cumbria it is important to retain a sense of the history of a building whilst embrasing the 21st century.

Gordon Smith works on domestic projects and small commercial projects in Kendal and the wider area of Cumbria. The solution to your architecutral problem could be on his website Architect Kendal. The before and after shot on this post shows part of the renovation process for a bungalow in Silverdale AONB.

Gordon also designs insulated garden buildings and garden offices for Insideout Buildings Ltd.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Small and simple is beautiful, in a garden office.

Does working from home really reduce your carbon footprint?

If you work at home are you going to have to heat your entire house or is there an alternative route to long term energy saving?
Lynn Fotheringham of InsideOut Buildings says “If you work from home in a large, draughty house or semi-insulated cabin in the garden, either of which need heating heavily in winter and/or air-conditioning in the summer you are adding to the CO2 problem not reducing it, even if you are using your car less because you work at home. But, you could you reduce your energy use by working in a small, purpose designed, well-insulated office in the garden”
Simple designs and simple building materials combined with ‘thinking small’ when planning a home office or any other home improvement or extension are the effective way to reduce your carbon footprint, rather than introducing a host of factory made, high-tech ‘green’ products and technologies into a house extension or garden office.
It is more environmentally effective to keep warm in an office in the garden – by insulating to a very high standard so that condensation doesn’t form within the building. If you avoid the temptation of whole walls of glass or folding glass doors and choosing sensibly sized windows your office won’t over heat in summer or be freezing in winter. [The same applies to house extensions with walls full of floor to ceiling windows.] You can then easily heat your garden office in the depths of winter with a very small electric heater or a tiny wood-burning stove and can forget about air-conditioning.
Lighting doesn’t have to burn a hole in your electricity bill either. In a well-designed garden office, using Velux roof windows and very narrow, double-glazed full-length windows reduces the need for electric light.
InsideOut Buildings are designed with the environment in mind. Their bespoke buildings keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter through careful use of breathable, eco-friendly insulation. Lighting is energy efficient. Building materials and wood are sourced within the UK. Nothing needs preserving or treating with chemicals. The running costs of their buildings are low. An InsideOut garden office will make you look at your existing house to see how you can make similar energy saving changes.

Six reasons why InsideOut garden rooms are environmentally effective: -
1. They are designed to run on minimal electricity. They are insulated with either sheepswool or Rockwool breathable insulation; both insulations are made in the UK. If you insulate properly you don’t need high tech ‘green’ gadgets to reduce the carbon footprint of your office.

2. They are clad with larch grown in the UK, which doesn’t need any chemical treatment or maintenance.

3. The roofs are tiled with cedar shingles cut from waste wood that is too small to use for anything else.

4. They contain minimal amounts of plastic, but InsideOut do supply water butts as standard so that rainwater can be reused in the garden.

5. Building materials are UK sourced wherever possible to reduce carbon miles.

6. They are designed to last for 60+ years.