CFD Architects - working in Cornwall and Devon









Developing a sustainable design will depend on the interpretation of the site constraints, client’s requirements and budgetary limitations. Good sustainable design is not necessarily achieved by throwing technology at it. The best starting point is to make good use of the site and optimize solar gain and shelter. Good insulation is an essential ingredient but we must also be careful to avoid summer overheating and here it is useful to incorporate some thermal mass to help stabilize temperature swings. The choice of materials and their embodied carbon, both in production and transport, is another matter to consider. These issues must be viewed in the light of the whole life cycle of the building and the materials that go into it. Legislation already covers waste management and recycling of materials on building sites with a construction value over £300,000 but most good builders adopt the same principles no matter what size of project.

There will always be factors working against the sustainability of the design (such as site conditions, the desire for splendid views and of course budget) and what makes the building a success is the ability to create a satisfactory balance. Unfortunately for example, in Cornwall the indigenous roofing material is virtually unobtainable and the closest match has to be imported. The embodied carbon here must be viewed in relation to the whole life cycle of the material, and the appropriateness of its use, including its recyclability. Locally sourced stone can score well and of course timber (managed) does well too. More recently building products using earth have come on to the market and these score well in relation to concrete products when looking for thermal mass. The use of lime is making a comeback as an alternative to cement products and its beneficial properties are once again being appreciated. There is never a right solution to a particular construction; there can only be best appropriate solutions, but all the time we must not lose sight of the architecture which must stem from a response to the client’s requirements and the environment, both local and global.


Environmental Policy Statement

Our designs:

We recognise that the products of our designs will have far more environmental impact than our own operations therefore we are further committed to exercising our professional skills in such a way as to minimise environmental impact in so far as this is possible within the instructions received from our clients.

We are committed:
• to raise the awareness of clients about sustainability and environmental protection, and help the members of the design team to develop a shared vision of environmental aspirations
• to ensure as far as possible that building projects are supported by a travel plan that promotes sustainable travel choices through public transport and cycling provision
• to assess sites for their ecological value and microclimate, and ensure buildings make best use of the natural features of the site including sun, wind and landscape
• to ascertain the potential for local power generation from renewable energy sources locally or on site
• to ensure that biodiversity is protected or enhanced
• to make best use of orientation and shape to reduce the need for artificial forms of conditioning
• to operate a ‘right-first-time’ culture (through our QM system) for our production information in order to avoid wasteful site reworking
• to minimise the use of construction materials, and specify materials and components with the optimum balance between environmental impact and performance in use
• to ensure that building services are inherently efficient and controllable, and that metering encourages monitoring and management of resource use
• to ensure that buildings are commissioned fully before handover, and that full operating manuals are provided
• to support clients in the first few months of operation by providing on-site training and advice to ensure that systems are fine-tuned and operate in accordance with the design intent.

Our workplace:

We are committed to providing a quality service in a manner that ensures a safe and healthy workplace for our employees, visitors and minimises our potential impact on the environment. We will operate in compliance with all relevant environmental legislation and we will strive to use pollution prevention and environmental best practices in all we do.

We will:
• integrate the consideration of environmental concerns and impacts into all of our decision making and activities
• promote environmental awareness among our employees and encourage them to work in an environmentally responsible manner, such as by working electronically wherever it is safe and secure to do so while ensuring that all key information is fully and securely backed up
• reduce waste through re-use and recycling and by purchasing recycled, recyclable or refurbished equipment, products and materials where these alternatives are available, economical and suitable
• ensure responsible disposal of remaining unavoidable waste
• promote efficient use of space heating/lighting, equipment, materials and resources including water, electricity, raw materials and other resources, particularly those that are non-renewable
• purchase and use environmentally responsible products accordingly
• include energy efficiency as one of the selection criteria when purchasing new equipment
• avoid unnecessary use of hazardous materials and products, seek substitutions when feasible, and take all reasonable steps to protect human health and the environment when such materials must be used, stored and disposed of
• where required by legislation or where significant health, safety or environmental hazards exist, develop and maintain appropriate emergency response programmes
• communicate our environmental commitment to clients, customers and the public and encourage them to support it
• strive to continually improve our environmental performance and minimise the social impact and damage of activities by periodically reviewing our environmental policy in light of our current and planned future activities
• use public transport in preference to travel by car wherever it is possible and effective to do so.


CFD Architects