Chalfont St Peter

The Chalfont houses are now complete, signed off and one sold which is fantastic.

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Once again we have achieved a “B” energy rating due to the super insulated timber frame, Solar PV, MVHR and energy efficient appliances.  To better this we need to improve on the Gas fired heating system, so the next development is incorporating Ground Source heat pumps.  Looking forward to seeing that come together.

VR for Architecture

I recently attended an introduction to virtual reality and its part in Architecture.

My entry into Architecture was pencil and paper on a drawing board, but things have really moved on.  Most of my work is still 2 dimensional CAD, but there numerous 3D applications available which really help to understand and explore spatial awareness.

VR takes this to the next level; The clarity of the graphics is amazing, layers add furniture, décor, time of day and weather.  From a sunny summers day to a heavy rain or snow shower, vehicles and people move around and interact with the scene that has been set.

Furthermore, by selecting an object in a room, thanks to BIM modelling, you can see specific details including price, suppliers and technical details.  For anybody considering a large scale project, this could be a great asset.

Looking back

I recently found a treasure trove of old hand-drawn plans from 1990.  Wonderful to look back.


Keeping your house cool in a Heatwave

Very topical subject for this week;

Six Natural Ways to Cool your House in a Heatwave;


To prevent your home from heating up like a greenhouse, keep your blinds and curtains closed in the day time when you’re out at work. The US Department of Energy says that smart management of window coverings can reduce heat gain by up to 77 percent.

You might want to invest in blackout blinds which stop any sunlight coming in and heating a room up. This is even more advisable if your home has lots of south facing windows.

Neutral coloured window coverings reflect more sunlight and so the lighter the curtain or blind the better in terms of reflecting heat.



If all the doors in your home are closed, cooler air from colder parts of a house (north facing rooms for example), will not be able to work its way into warmer rooms. A freer air flow throughout the home will undoubtedly make your whole house feel cooler.



Keeping extractor fans in a bathroom on for a while longer than normal after a shower will make sure the hot air is expelled from the room, rather than permeating through the house.



If you’re struggling to sleep because of the heat and your bedroom is at the top of your house, consider a temporary move to a room lower down in your home. If you have a spare room on a lower floor, it should be cooler because heat rises.

If you don’t have the space to move a bedroom on a lower floor, you could instead invest in a chillow. This pillow is filled with cool water or gel and slips under your existing pillow case and will cool you down.



To let the naturally cooler night air in to your home, open windows before you go to sleep. Just remember to close the windows and blinds when the temperature spikes again in the morning.


If you still use traditional incandescent light bulbs instead of an energy efficient alternative such as CFLs or LEDs, your home will be much warmer than if you made the change to more modern bulbs. According to the Centre for Sustainable Energy incandescent bulbs waste 90% of the energy they use, which is given off as heat. Changing your light bulbs will make a small difference in helping you to keep your home cooler.

These six easy steps will help to keep your home cool naturally even in a serious heatwave. Your wallet and the environment will both thank you for keeping it natural.

Source: Federation of Master Builders


Permitted Development rights update

The extension of permitted development rights to allow homeowners to extend their properties without a full planning application has come into permanent effect.

Under the rules, homeowners can put a single-storey rear extension on their property of up to six metres for terraced or semi-detached homes – or eight metres for detached homes.

Do remember that materials need to match the existing and that if you are extending beyond 3m for a semi -detached / terrace house or 4m on a detached, you still have to go through a neighbour consultation scheme.

Extensions have strict guidelines and you do need to consider impact on neighbouring properties

Read More….


We are delighted for our Shiplake clients who have just received Planning Permission for their 99sq/m extension and full renovation of their new family home.

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The extension will comprise of a new Kitchen open to a contemporary Family Room Orangery with new Master Suite above.

The existing layout is to be altered whilst all elements upgraded to include under floor heating, air source heat pump, solar PV and increased levels of insulation to make it as efficient and comfortable as possible.