Group 33

We are collaborating with Ecospheric and Rural Solutions to contribute towards a live architectural project, an Arts & Crafts property in the Cotswolds, aiming for Passivhaus Premium Certification. We will be researching and using graphical methods to communicate innovative environmental technologies.

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Samuel Andrew S / Michael Thomas W / Holly M / Arundika Buddhini W / Kathleen K / George Edward W

Meet Arundika Weerasekera

BSc Arch: SLIIT School of Architecture, Sri Lanka | Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom

Atelier: CPU

Experience: 1yr 3 months (1 yr at SW plus Architects, Sri Lanka, 3 months at Geoffrey Bawa Trust, Sri Lanka)
Posted 1 Mar 2021 21:52
Meet George Williams

BSc Arch: Sheffield Hallam University

Atelier: CIA

Experience: 2yrs (1 yr IBI Group, 1 yr 5plus architects)
Posted 1 Mar 2021 21:54
Meet Holly Millburn

BA Arch: University of Kent

Atelier: CPU

Experience: 4yrs (PDD Architects 1yr, Hyphen 1yr, Isabel Manns 1yr, ISS 1yr)
Posted 1 Mar 2021 21:54
Meet Kathleen Karveli

BSc Arch: Coventry University

Atelier: CIA

Experience: 3yrs (2 yrs IDP, 1 year Ophir Architecture)
Posted 1 Mar 2021 21:55
Meet Michael Walsh

BA (Hons) Arch: Manchester School of Architecture

Atelier: CPU

Experience: 2yrs (2 yrs IBI Group)
Posted 1 Mar 2021 21:56
Meet Sam Sayle

BA (Hons) Arch: Nottingham Trent University

Atelier: &rchitecture

Experience: 2yrs (1yr 5plus architects Manchester & 1yr 5plus architects London)
Posted 1 Mar 2021 21:56
Come meet our Collaborators!

First up Ecospheric! Ecospheric focus on pioneering eco developments that save carbon and drive technological change. The built environment sees new measures being introduced as we slowly approach the 2050 pledge for zero net buildings. The firms director Kit Knowles and his team aim to create valuable case studies to progress the field of sustainable construction.

The Zetland Passive House located in Manchester was named the “greenest retrofit” in the UK, and through their continuous search and passion for innovative solutions and high standard projects they managed to achieve beyond Passive House standards. The new Arts and Crafts development set in the Cotswolds, which aims for Passivhaus Premium is an opportunity to set a precedent not only for Passive House standards but also future Paragraph 79 projects.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 14:54
Next up Rural Solutions!
Selby Stocks is a Senior Architect working for Rural Solutions, who together with Ecospheric are undertaking the design of ‘Little Rissington’, an Arts and Crafts Paragraph 79 new-build home in the Cotswolds. Rural Solutions are a specialist consultancy group, national leaders in designing exceptional new and replacement country homes that sit harmoniously within pastoral landscapes.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 14:55
ECOtswolds is an opportunity for students to be involved in a project that will push the boundaries of innovative technologies used in not just this Paragraph 79 project, but as society heads towards a net-zero carbon future. The research undertaken during this project will also have a positive impact on the communities that the client works with as the use of environmental technologies improves the quality of design and subsequently the value of the buildings. There is also an opportunity to educate and inspire through the research undertaken by ECOtswolds, by utilising graphical explanations of the various processes involved in an innovative design project.

It is our aim to make our mark on the future Paragraph 79 projects by setting a high standard for the use of innovative technologies in future proposals, with the goal of inspiring more clients to use innovative environmental technologies in their projects, engaging with the community and improving their local area in doing so.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 14:55
The ECOtswolds team will be focussing on the research and testing of innovative technologies in order to support our live client with their paragraph 79 project in the Cotswolds. The work will take on three main phases:

Research – We will aim to gather as much information as possible. This will allow us to develop a good understanding of what technologies already exist, whats in development and the potential for use within the project. Using the existing scheme and research as a baseline, we will be focusing on four key areas: Fabric specific tech, energy generation, energy storage and energy conservation.

Analysis – As part of the project, we will be looking at how you might test some of these ideas through simulated analysis. Utilising 3D modelling software such as Sketchup and Grasshopper for Rhino to obtain results. We will be running some small skills tutorials to bring the team up to speed.

Visuals – Once all the research has been collected, collated, and tested we will need to visualise the results and present them in a document. For this part of the project, we will be looking at using adobe suite packages and running more skills workshops to help team members to display the finished work.
Posted 2 Mar 2021 15:38
Yesterday we had a client catch up meeting with Ecospheric’s Tiffany Chong, who is our main liaison throughout the project. We had a great catch-up and were able to confirm further details on some of our main outputs, including: Website content, Graphical styles and research. Although we have discussed these prior, we wanted to check in to see if anything had changed, as the client had informed us they have had some timeline changes on their end of the project. However, these have not affected our internal timelines or outputs at all, so we can now focus on getting prepped for our sessions next week!

Tiffany Chong, Communications Manager
Posted 5 May 2021 20:02
A Chartered Architect, Jack has a background in sustainable design and healthcare architecture, specialising in Primary & Community Care. During his career, he has fulfilled a pivotal role within multi-disciplinary Project Teams, supporting the successful design and delivery of large-scale healthcare projects from strategy to full technical design.

Jack will be talking to us about his progression towards becoming an architect and an advocate for sustainability. He will be taking us through some of the ground-breaking projects that he has worked on and the innovative ways in which sustainable goals were achieved. He will also give some insight into how chasing these goals sometimes has to be balanced with client aspirations and budget.

Find out more:
Posted 8 May 2021 23:35
MSA Live begins! The team is finally complete and we were able to meet the BA1 & BA2 Students. We introduced them to the brief, the site, and what we plan to do over the next two weeks.

For some of the students, this was the first time they had been exposed to applications such as Paragraph 79. We took them through the project slides and a tour of the model to gain a better understanding of the innovative technologies they will be researching during the project.

Finally, we split into 3 sub-groups:
- Energy Conservation
- Energy Generation
- Energy Storage

The students will be diving into these 3 sub-groups, researching innovative technologies that could benefit the ‘Little Rissington’ Project.
Posted 10 May 2021 20:18
To get the creative juices following, the students were asked to draw something they’ve been staring at for the past year working from home! There were some great sketches from city views to blue cheese dip and breadsticks.
Posted 10 May 2021 20:19
Earlier today, we were joined by chattered architect Jack Davies, who shared his invaluable experience of progressing through architectural education and towards a career that champions sustainable design. As the former sustainability lead for IBI's Cardiff office and the co-founder of the sustainable studio, Jack was able to share with us a range of projects that put sustainable design and well-being at the heart of the process.

Different certifications and standards were discussed during the presentation, such as Passive House, LEED, and BREEAM. Jack was also able to talk through how these are achieved and explain the inherent nuances.

His methodology encourages social, cultural, and environmental sensitivity, particularly relevant towards sensitive planning projects.
Posted 11 May 2021 21:11
James Williams is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sero a hybrid technology and housing company which specialises in developing Zero carbon homes. Sero also supports partners to deliver Zero Carbon in both new build and retrofit, Sero operates those homes to benefit the residents and grid decarbonisation, and aggregates homes to deliver the best outcomes for families, energy grids and the planet.

James will be talking to us about Sero homes and their revolutionary Parc Hadau development which aimed at creating zero carbon homes development. Through the project, he will show how they were able to integrate zero carbon, placemaking and biodiversity into one scheme whilst maintaining the quality and aesthetic appeal. He will talk about what net zero carbon really means and what is needed to achieve it.

Find out more:
Posted 11 May 2021 21:14
"Phi reflects their design philosophy with ‘smart’ architecture, sustainable and environmentally responsible design, combined with the application of Phi Φ, the golden section, to create beautiful proportions in design. Phi is committed to cost efficient design and construction culminating in highly energy efficient solutions.

Phi Architects are a team of Architects and Passivhaus Designers whose expertise is in the design and delivery of low energy houses and housing. We have also worked as consultants for other architects and designers, supporting them in their efforts to achieve low energy housing and helping them to meet the Passivhaus standard."

Sara and Jeremy will be joining us to discuss all things Passivhaus, including how to become a Passivhaus architect and a selection of their current projects, including 'The Chapel, New Mills' - the re-use of a dilapidated Methodist church into a workspace, studio and residential building.
Posted 12 May 2021 14:54
Padraig is a sustainability leader at IBI and has recently relocated from Vancouver to be based in the UK & Ireland. He is at the cutting-edge of sustainable design, specifically the ‘Passive House’ standard, which promotes low energy consumption by creating a comfortable internal environment that does not require continued heating and cooling.

Padraig will be talking to us about one of his most recent projects which is the fourth tallest residential building in Vancouver and the tallest Passive House Building in the world. The presentation will show how Passive House principles are transferable across all sectors, from commercial and hospitality, through to large-scale healthcare environments.

Find out more:
Posted 12 May 2021 15:44
Over the past few days, the students have been working in smaller sub-groups, researching innovative methods that might benefit Little Rissington. We all came back together this morning to relay what each group had found.

The Miro session was great! It allowed all the students to interact and comment on each other's findings. It also allowed us to see any overlaps in the sub-groups. The students will finalise the research tomorrow, in preparation to start creating visual content for Ecospheric next week.
Posted 13 May 2021 14:50
A great talk, and a really interesting Q&A from our guests Sara & Jeremy this afternoon.

They gave a great insight into Passivhaus Design, through their years of experience and the live projects they are currently working on. Hopefully, this is valuable knowledge for the students to consider when designing future studio projects!
Posted 13 May 2021 15:42
Day 4, Food for thought
The team has been getting loads of inspiration from all our talks this week. Our last talk given to us by James Williams from Sero inspired us to look at other aspects of a zero carbon future.
1. The importance of infrastructure. Although great steps have been taken towards our zero carbon future, the infrastructure in place will only improve over time, meaning that the energy efficiency of a home will improve with it.
2. The home and grid balance. Energy can fluctuate throughout the day and so it is as important to think about energy storage as it is about energy generation.
3. The importance of data collection. Monitoring how our integrated systems work on a day to day basis can inform us about the efficiency of the products and suitability.
4. Promoting a zero carbon lifestyle. Innovative technology is only a tool in achieving our sustainable future. Reducing our carbon footprint is a collective matter.
You can find more information from the links below:
Posted 14 May 2021 13:15
Today we were joined by Padraig McMorrow – A passive house certified architect from IBI group.

Padraig talked through the carbon impacts of a building from material selection, construction, in-use, and disassembly. He discussed the five main Passive house principles: No thermal bridging, Superior windows, Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, quality insulation, and Airtight construction. He used a range of projects from his portfolio at IBI to give working examples of best practice.

The discussion was opened out to questions where we discussed the future of passive house and energy standards in the UK, Mass timber, and the use of natural materials.

Padraig was also able to offer some helpful insight on delivering a sustainable building with a traditional aesthetic.
Posted 14 May 2021 20:52
Feedback is important to Us!

As we concluded week 1 we wanted to make sure that our pre-planned session plan reflected our BA students expectations, and make improvements on anything the BA students might not want to bring up directly. Our students were asked to submit feedback anonymously on:
1. What they have learnt so far
2. What they would like to focus on more
3. General feedback of week 1

Having MSA Live online this year, our main priority has been to ensure clear communication within the group, in order to maximise everyone's experience.
Posted 17 May 2021 12:11
Day 6, Alternative Passive Design Technologies around the world

Asia is placed right next to the equator, which means it has different climatic conditions compared to Europe. So, we thought it would be interesting to find out how Asia is responding to the climatic conditions and their passive design technologies. We were able to discover that Passive house design technologies are used in a reverse way as opposed to Europe.

Sachinthanathan Shantihini is a practicing Chartered Architect and an Academic who took us through Passive design technologies and considerations in Asia and mainly Sri Lanka.

The speaker started the presentation introducing the climate, lifestyle of people and how buildings could be designed to accommodate them. And these three main questions were answered throughout the presentation.

1) How to integrate day light without the heat and glare?
2) How did they ventilate spaces without the heat and dust?
3) How did they bring the great outdoors inside without compromising on security and safety?

The presentation was quite insightful and more importantly, left us wondering what the perfect Summer Holiday would be like!
Posted 18 May 2021 11:15
This week we have begun the process of putting our research findings onto paper. BA students have been sketching out innovative technologies that through our research, we believe the client will be able to utilise. This was also an opportunity to work out how to agree on styles of graphics for the final versions. Students have a variety of skills and knowledge of different software, which has made these sessions extra exciting for the team!
Posted 18 May 2021 15:27
Today we had a Diagram Tutorial from George.

As the students have been modelling and drawing for their diagrams, we took the opportunity to bring all of the work today in a cohesive style. Some of the students hadn't used programs like illustrator before so George took them through a quick masterclass. The students also learn't how to export drawings into Adobe software, to create crisp clean diagrams.

Each Energy Group then went into their break out space to answer any further questions, before finalising their diagrams!
Posted 20 May 2021 12:18
The research and final diagramming has happened in multiple softwares. Word, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, SketchUp but we made sure to put it all up on our Miro board to go through each and every study and diagram development so we could all comment and improve each other’s output and basically, GROW TOGETHER!

The first group, the Energy generation group studied about various methods that are being used when dealing with passive house designs. The topic was further simplified by looking at energy generation methods as solar, bio-energy, wind power, indirect solar gains, and general water systems. Each of these topics ended up in really cool diagrams that are being developed to their best potential!
Posted 20 May 2021 17:02
The team quite enthusiastically expressed their thoughts on the whole project. And we thought this is something that’s worth sharing with everyone! Well, what’s the use of all the effort if you don’t find it enjoyable and meaningful!

M. Arch student testimonies

Samuel Andrew Sayle
Working with Ecospheric on a live project expanded my knowledge on sustainable technologies, whilst developing my own leadership skills. Helping the BA’s was a rewarding task, by helping them with tips and tricks learnt in practice that I wish I was told during my UG degree.

George Edward Williams
Using the Little Rissington project as a teaching tool for how sustainabile and innovative technologies are embedded into a contextually challenging project has been fascinating. Working alongside the BA students to produce the visual content to support the building’s planning application has been a valuable experience. During the project we have interacted with the project team, Ecospheric and Rural Solutions, as well as various industry leading professionals to learn about environmental design.

Holly Millburn
This project has been a great opportunity for me to learn more about innovative technologies in a rural context. It has also been great to be involved in a live project, and to have been able to give our BA team the experience of utilising research in practice.

Michael Thomas Walsh
Having already had an interest in sustainable technology, I found this project to be insightful. Being asked to look at potential innovations whilst being mindful of the sensitive planning context really pushed me to think outside the box and reconsider how I approach sustainable design.

Kathleen Karveli
With my previous experience in sustainable technologies being limited, this project has been an opportunity to explore innovative solutions towards a zero-carbon future. Working alongside a large group has been a given me a great insight into the challenges and prospects of a live projects such as this.

Arundika Weerasekera
Passivhaus designs are something I’m quite familiar with as an Asian but I was more interested in learning how the countries with a temperate climate addresses the design complications sustainably! I was able to learn a surprising amount of knowledge in just a two weeks period and how they’ve been utilised by our client Ecospheric. A great team of Masters and Bachelors students made the experience significant.

BA student testimonies

Saif Hajazi
The Ecospheric project has given me an insight into technologies that are aiding to shape the future of sustainable architecture. It was extremely insightful researching into ground-breaking and future technologies that haven’t yet reached the mainstream market. It has allowed to me to gain knowledge in sustainable and Passivhaus architecture that I can hopefully take forward throughout my degree.

Niya Lijo Kankapadan
Coming into this I was looking to learn principles regarding passivhaus design. But what I ended up with was all that and more! With the numerous talks from experienced passivhaus specialists and architects, we applied this understanding into a project with Ecospheric and Rural Solutions allowed for a holistic appreciation for the concept. Working with the M.Arch and undergraduates has been an interesting experience as it opened up new perspectives and ideas for sustainable solutions.

Fraser Matthews
This project was a good in-depth summation of the varied technologies and principles behind passivehaus design, appropriately shown through a real building project and talks from industry professionals. It was a great opportunity to practise some of my earlier learning and skills from the Environmental Technologies module of my course and there was an excellent level of teamwork to ensure that the 2 weeks was never overly intense.

Ryan Mall
Working on this live project has allowed me to research, and become more knowledgeable on, elements of Architecture I may not have considered. It has also taught me the importance of sustainable energy and how it can be implemented into building design.

Jacky Cheng Kai Li
In this ECOtswolds project, the experience of taking part in a live project and working alongside masters students have been fantastic. Listening to speakers and researching innovative energy system has brought great insight to me on the push for more carbon neutral structures.

Fabio De Luca
This project has helped to expand my knowledge based on green technologies which can help to push for a more sustainable future. It's been a great opportunity to develop my skills on various software’s including with help from MArch students who have work experience in practice.

Chi-Hao Tseng
The project was a great opportunity for me to learn about the current architectural landscape, including net carbon zero and Passive House designs using cutting edge building strategies, technologies, while taking heritage and site context into careful consideration. Additionally, it enabled me to get a taste of what an active project is like in real life by hearing from the professionals, and to hear from MArch students about their experiences after undergraduate, and helping me learn various software and diagramming skills.

Alexia Teodora Borocoman
I enjoyed how this project emphasized on innovative technologies within architecture while including traditional, passive methods of construction. Moreover, this project offered me an insight of the profession through several talks and tutorials and consolidated my passion for energy-efficient design.

Posted 20 May 2021 19:05
The final day was quite hectic; but we were thrilled to see the output of both the publication and the document we did for our client. This GIF shows the spread of sheets (ie-document) we did for our collaborators/client showing the research and graphic skills of two weeks with a team of 15 M.Arch and BA students.

The document was an interactive PDF which included the four main areas the project looked regarding Passivhaus design technologies. And the best part, the client absolutely adored the output and in fact suggested that the whole team attend site visits in the coming months to see the progress of the Little Rissington project!

Await our blog post about the document hand over meeting we had with our client!
Posted 21 May 2021 15:59
Today was the final day of the eCotswolds research project, and team members from our collaborators joined us to show them the output and receive feedback.
Overall, the scheme was really well received, and they were impressed by how clean, and well-presented the work was. Kit was able to offer some invaluable insight into the realities of some of the theoretical approaches that were covered throughout the week.
Once the research was shown and explained, it was discussed how this process could revolutionize the way paragraph 79 project runs, with this project being the archetype for university involvement and the output setting the standard for future schemes. This project has potentially opened the door for broader participation and collaboration across schools and the industry.
The rural solutions team also discussed how there could be an opportunity for continued involvement from members of the Cotswolds team and the potential for a site visit if the planning application is successful.
We want to say a massive thank you to everyone involved with this project, from giving talks to producing work. It was an invaluable experience and will go a long way to helping achieve a sustainable future with so many aspiring architects learning from it.

Original artwork by 1st year BA Student Jacky Li
Posted 21 May 2021 19:54