March 2013 posts


BD: ‘Everybody needs everybody’

Broadmeadow, Teignmouth, Devon – Preliminary design proposal

Broadmeadow, Teignmouth, Devon – Preliminary design proposal

A couple of years ago, at a wedding, I sat next to a charming, bombastic property developer. In the course of his work many of his tenants had become his friends (including Will Alsop as it turned out), he had recently started a Jazz Club in the basement of one of his buildings, and he seemed to have a plethora of ideas for the future. Essentially he had developed a creative community around his property portfolio, and when I asked how he manages to balance commercial realties with community aspirations he stated the following:

It’s a recession! Everybody needs everybody!

Recently I have noticed a growing and gathering spirit in much of our new work which seems very much in line with this statement. Indeed there seems to be a community groundswell of people who simply want to ‘get things done’. Let me describe some examples.


Passivhaus – our experience

Sarmede House – Front Perspective

Sarmede House – Front Perspective

At Jerry Tate Architects we have been developing our understanding of the Passivhaus standard for some time, and are excited to be about to start on site with our first UK based Passivhaus project. This article describes how we got to grips with the Passivhaus requirements, and also examines where, in our experience, the standard can and cannot be successfully applied to projects.

Passivhaus has been on our ‘radar’ since 2007 when we designed our first new-build house, Hoo House in Suffolk. We organised a workshop with the client and Buro Happold to establish a strategy on how the house would be ‘sustainable’. Rob Cooke from Buro Happold was very clear that the most appropriate set of parameters we should work to for the external fabric would be the Passivhaus criteria. However we did not use the Passivhaus Planning Package design and energy tools, and did not target certification.

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