Biography

I am a sustainability consultant, working in the fields of architecture and energy. I work  mainly,but not exclusively on projects involving housing in the UK and I am based in London. My interest is primarily in what makes a sustainable place, or what makes a place sustainable. Can we say with confidence that we know the answer to either question? I expect to spend a lot of my time in the future working on the answers to these questions. I already spend a lot of time on this and I write on this subject in this blog.

My background is that I was born in Dublin. I was educated in Ireland and have worked in London, UK since 1988. I have a Degree in Architecture from University College Dublin and a Masters in Intelligent Buildings from Reading University.

Having worked as an architect for fifteen years or so it became obvious to me that the future for buildings and building design must be centred on building performance. It’s how buildings work and enable their occupants to use them that matters at least as much as what they look like.  But this is an aspect of buildings that is not sufficiently explored in architectural training.

Since then, I have become a Code for Sustainable Homes assessor, a SAP assessor and a BREEAM assessor in an effort to understand what we mean by ‘more sustainable’ when it comes to housing in the UK, I employ a team of consultants with wider skills including LIfecycle Assessment, building simulation and Post Occupancy assessment. I have been fortunate to have been involved in some leading edge projects which have investigated what low and zero carbon means in the housing context, both for new-build and for refurbishment.

I am now Partner at HTA, and with my Sustainable Futures team I plan to go on exploring this difficult but essential subject as long as these questions remain.

The journey towards a more sustainable built environment is just beginning. There is a Chinese proverb that says “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, so that’s what I am doing, one step at a time.

3 thoughts on “Biography

  1. Just read a blog acreditted to you – suggesting green deal measures should be applied at the time of sale – because that is the obvious and least disruptive time to unpgrade an (empty) house.
    Agree – absolutely – it is the most practical contribution to the debate so far.
    How do we achieve it ?
    Me – I’m a Cibse energy assessor, entirely commercial so far – but viewing domestic properties as a huge challenge that needs adressing.
    See little prospect of the scheme getting off the ground while it’s left to B&Q trainees and products however. Every comment – or seminar – seems to agree it’s a sales opportunity for B&Q – but gets very vague about more professional approaches.
    Just learnt from Andrew Warren that GD will roll out by areas and that Bristol (my area) – while under consideration – was in the balance. Any thoughts on how I can push the point of sale approach as a call to action here ?
    There must be a morgage provider – or estate agency – with a long term view. Know anyone who is looking for a pilot ?

    • Tony, that’s interesting news about the area-based roll-out. Possibly the way to approach it is through local community organisations. Set up a few evening meetings in your area and raise awareness. Talk to some of the transition groups active in Bristol about doing a neighbourhood scale retrofit. If you can get a couple of hundred people together that will get interest from Green Deal Providers.

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