Eco extravagance


Living in a modern, eco-friendly home does not have to be uncomfortable. Quite the opposite. The “Passivhaus” method, which has been developed over the last twenty years, provides the highest standard of comfort and convenience.

Passivhaus buildings provide significantly improved comfort and indoor air quality, as well as much lower heating bills. They are designed and built with meticulous attention to detail and can be certified through an exacting quality assurance process.

Certified Passivhaus Designers are Architects who have studied the physics and technology behind the system in great detail, have passed a very taxing exam and are required to take part in continuing professional development to keep their certification. Wiebke Rietz of Alchemilla Architects Ltd is one of these specialists, who has followed the course of the development of modern, sustainable building technology for over 25 years and is as passionate as she is knowledgeable in this field.

“With the climate changing rapidly, it is becoming a necessity, rather than a nice-to-have, to have buildings that use minimal amounts of energy,” Wiebke explains, “Passivhaus gives us the tools to provide dwellings and other buildings that have every 21st century convenience, whilst at the same time needing very little of our Earth’s resources”. “After looking for a system like this for many years, completing the Passivhaus course in 2011 was a real eye-opener. All of a sudden energy efficient building had all of the guess-work taken out of it. Instead of adding a conservatory here and some more insulation there the performance of a building can be calculated whilst it is being designed. Very little is left to chance, so once the building is complete and has been certified its performance is as predicted.”

Energy efficiency is integral to Alchemilla Architect’s work, which ranges from extensions and refurbishment projects to single houses and small housing estates. A development of high-end holiday lets, a new Passivhaus certified office building and a large kennel building for an animal shelter are part of their current workload. They work with listed buildings and in Conservation Areas, providing designs that blend into a historic context as well as modern additions where appropriate. Their imaginative, personal service is tailored to the needs of their clients whether this means a “Grand Design” or a bespoke new garden room. As a RIBA Chartered Practice they follow a rigorous quality control procedure with all projects being designed and checked by a Chartered Architect.

Alchemilla Architects will work with you from initial design development to overseeing the project on site to ensure you get a quality building, comfortable and easy to maintain.

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