Garry Adam Architect | Sustainability


We’ve noticed recently more and more people talking about sustainability and renewable energy. With everything that has been going on around the world in the last few years, from publicity surrounding climate change, and the current global pandemic crisis, more people are thinking about growing their own food, using less plastic, and utilising sustainable energy to reduce their carbon footprint on the world. This is right up our street! Alongside measures to try to reduce waste, and grow and make our own food from scratch in our personal lives, sustainability is also a huge part of our practice ethos. Garry successfully passed the Certified European Passivehaus Designer course (CEPH) in 2011, following which he designed and built his own house and studio using Passivehaus principles and the knowledge gained from the course. Since then he has designed a number of low energy houses using the principles of Passivehaus design. We also have experience with various types of renewable energy systems from boiler stoves to heat recovery systems, having worked with heating engineers to specify them in domestic projects over the years. Additionally, both Garry and Grace having incorporated renewable energy heating systems into the designs for their own homes. Thinking about the sustainability of a project from early design stages can result in a more environmentally friendly home.  It can also reduce long term running costs of the home, for example by making it more air-tight and therefore requiring less energy to heat. It’s a win-win! We are always more than happy to discuss the inclusion of sustainability principles with clients, anything from specifying materials that can be locally sourced, re-use of existing buildings or re-use of materials from down takings, to renewable heating systems. Just get in touch if you’d like to talk with us about your project and the potential ways in which you can improve the sustainability of your dream home.

Some components of our  sustainable home.


You can recycle an old building to become a modern home.  The new eco home has a contemporary feel but grows out of the old stone wall.  No need  to remove the stone.
The Mechanical Ventilation & Heat Recovery unit (MVHR)recovers the heat from the air, but does not recycle the stale air. 100% fresh air all the time.     Before & after pictures of the filters to show effectiveness & quality of the air that is provided internally (as opposed to just opening the windows).
Our house has no boiler or central heating system.  A wood burning stove is the only form of heating for a 225sqm home in Scotland – why spend more?  The stove takes its air supply directly from the outside via a duct to maintain the airtightness of the building.  The stove also has a back boiler to add to water heating.
Solar thermal panels on the roof heat the water.  Solar gain from the large south facing windows and also internal walls are    constructed with breeze blocks made from recycled materials.  Glen Eud lite low energy concrete blocks were sourced locally from the Skene Group.
 To minimise heat loss, windows to the north are kept small