GUEST BLOG: Sustainable Design – Looking Towards the Future

Today we are featuring a guest blog from Lynda Smith of Denovo Design, an architectural practice based in Liverpool.

Here at Denovo design we have had an ongoing commitment to sustainable design over a number of years, and so were thrilled when in April 2012 this was formally endorsed with an NQA of ‘Sustainability Assessed’ accreditation.

We view sustainability in its widest sense, with the three main drivers, Planet; People and Prosperity being integral to our design process.  Future-proofing the build by specification of durable and environmentally friendly products and technologies, along with interaction at all stages with a host of Stakeholders, before, during and after the build process is, therefore, crucial.

Indeed, development of good partnerships is the very essence of sustainable design, and helps to contribute to the positive transferability of not only the environmental products, but also best practice in terms of neighbourhood in the short term, and more importantly in the long term – strengthening community backbone by encouraging social interaction.

At our recently completed affordable housing project at Halton View for Halton Housing Trust, collaboration began even before inception with local resident and school children, and with families and Occupational Therapists, who advised on the specification of the bespoke bungalows with specialist disabled provision. 

Such relationships are critical to the evolution of the design and to maximize its lasting effectiveness. At the end of the day, architecture is about people.

We were therefore delighted to have an opportunity to work again on a social housing project with Mobilane, fellow like-minded professionals, sustainable champions, and suppliers of green ivy screens and living walls.

Landscaping and ‘greening up’ of the development was a key element of the design concept, providing an uplifting aesthetic, beneficial to social health, and also providing essential ecological habitat. A first for Denovo was also the creation of a communal allotment to be managed by local school children, creating the opportunity for them to learn about healthy living and eating from an early age.

It was fitting that a development with such environmental credentials should be showcased with a sizeable 180cm high green ivy wall, which, as well as acting as an attractive anti-vandal boundary for the two bespoke bungalows, spectacularly spans the main access to the site, making a strong environmental statement to residents and visitors alike.

The ivy, as well as being low maintenance is also effective in absorbing harmful microscopic particles generated by vehicular traffic, and is therefore also valuable in terms of helping to combat pollution, especially in urban areas.

The green screens, therefore, tick all the boxes ecologically, environmentally and sustainably, and contribute towards the points for the ‘Code for Sustainable Homes’.

It seems there can be no other way but onwards and upwards…..and, of course in growth terms … outwards!

Denovo Design Limited, 89 Wood Street. Liverpool, L1 4NU   T: 0151 708 4999   F:  0151 708 5335
Follow Denovo on Twitter @DenovoDL

‘The Green Organisation Built Environment and Architectural Heritage’ Award-Winning Practice 2006-2012

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