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Designing sustainably

Sustainable design 
green architecture

Green architecture

Holistic approach

to sustainability

Here at Philip Wadge Architecture we are embracing the nation's challenge of upgrading the energy efficiency of our housing, one home at a time, for your benefit and for that of our planet. It is our mission to use the latest low energy construction and low-carbon technologies when extending, transforming or building your new home.

A sustainable house design is more than just a great insulation specification, it uses sustainably sourced long-lived materials and is designed with the aspect and path of the sun for lighting, warmth and shade. Designing a low carbon house to merge with its garden and natural environment, incorporating the best views and integrating with outdoor seating and landscaping, creates a seamless feel of harmony.

By choosing sustainably-sourced, eco-friendly materials with lower embodied energy, we can lower the environmental impact and carbon footprint of your home. The payback time for sustainable home upgrades has never been shorter to combat rising home energy costs.

Now is the time to future proof your house with energy efficient improvements and sustainable design solutions. We can assess your home for cost effectiveness, or even transformative zero-carbon or Passivhaus improvements..

Optimising energy efficiency

Eco and low energy 

home design

Whether your project involves an extension, renovation or a new-build, we start by analysing your whole home with an energy assessment to judge its current energy requirements. We then consider what energy efficiency improvements are most cost-effective to take your leaky D or E rated home to a superb A or B rated eco-home.

First of all, we need to reduce the heat lost from your home. If your home is poorly insulated we can reduce the heat loss by 75% or more, by upgrading the insulation values of your floors, walls, roof and windows.

An additional benefit of a whole house eco-renovation could be to transform your home’s appearance with a new, modern look. Our innovative designs can incorporate insulated render or cladding, and state-of-the-art double-glazed windows and integrated PV panels, giving the appearance of modern and stylish efficiency.

With gas and oil burning boilers due to be outlawed in the near future, it's time to consider sustainable solutions involving ground or air-source heat pumps. They offer a much cleaner energy source and work perfectly with underfloor heating and improved insulation. PV solar panels, when combined with the smart battery technology, can power your home, heating, hot water, car, and even air conditioning.

Creating harmony at home


green credentials

We spend an average of 93% of our lives indoors, so our house design plays a significant part in our wellbeing. Wellness and sustainable architecture aim to create internal spaces that are holistically pleasing to the mind and body. 

Our green and eco conscious designs focus on solutions like sliding glass walls, breaking down the barriers between inside and out, allowing you to enjoy your garden all year round. An outward looking extension and living space provides you with a great sense of natural light, connection with nature, and freedom.

The benefits of future-proofing and sustainable architecture include warmer homes, lower fuel bills and more harmonious living experiences. Meaningful architecture uses natural materials and gives a sense of satisfaction, knowing that you are helping the planet.

The advantage of using Philip Wadge Architecture design services for your sustainable project is that we combine both technical expertise in energy efficiency with aspirational architecture to bring you a home that is efficient now and in the future.

Got a question?

Frequently asked

Does sustainable design cost more?

Yes, sustainable low-energy design costs more at the outset, but over a medium and long term brings real cost savings to you and of course for the benefit of our planet too. Any upgrade will have a cost, associated, but where new construction is planned, be it by extension or new home, it’s cost-effective to building in low-energy design. Upgrading the existing parts of your house will also be cost-effective in the long term, in general, the worse your house current is, and the higher the energy prices, the quicker the payback for improvements.

What are the most energy efficiency upgrades?

Insulating your home should be the first priority. Overall, properly insulated walls will have more impact than window upgrades, heat always leaves by the weakest link, including by draughts. Loft insulation is the cheapest form of insulation. Upgrading boilers to last efficient models, or considering the longer-term option of an electric heat pump system can make a big difference including the sustainable aspect of not using fossil fuels to heat your home – currently electricity. As gas is being phased out of the national grid, the disparity of electricity and gas prices is expected to level out.

Are there any legal requirements for sustainability?

Home extensions have to comply with the Building Regulations, recent changes mean these standards are usually substantially higher than your existing house in terms of heat loss. With new build homes there are often additional planning requirements beyond Building Regulations to lower CO2 emissions for new homes. It is current planned to outlaw of fossil fuel boilers installed in new homes from 2025 and even replacement boilers sometime next decade.

Can I swap my boiler for a heat pump?

A boiler can usually be changed to a heat pump solution, but additional changes to your home may be required to ensure they work effectively. You will need a well-insulated home for cost-effective use. A heat pump works efficiently with lower water temperatures typically used for underfloor heating, although properly specified radiators can be used. A heat pump will not keep up in anything other than a well-insulated home. It is therefore recommended to upgrade your home's insulation when installing a heat pump – a double boast to your home’s sustainability.

Are electric heat pumps more sustainable than gas boilers?

Gas is a finite commodity, and its use is directly linked to climate change: gas is not sustainable by either definition. Our National Grid electricity is being greened at a fast rate, and in 2022 only 40% of electricity production came from burning fossil fuels, down from 69% just 10 years ago with the wind increasing to 26% of all energy production in 2022. Using electricity to heat your home is already more sustainable than using gas or oil boilers, especially if you can generate your own electricity with Solar PV panels.

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