Image credit: Marie Anna Baráková

August Newsletter

What’s the point in me filing these weekly articles? Good question.

Judging by the number of emails I get each week, quite a few people enjoy reading them and clicking on the weekly links. That’s the point for me, and if I continue to get a few weekly emails, I’ll keep writing. I’ve enjoyed it. Well, that was short and simple!

But I was trying to remember the other day why I started them and what the plan was. Earlier this year, Lisa and I planned to do a monthly newsletter covering current projects and topical news. But I don’t know where the idea of writing a weekly personal reflection came from. They just started and I’ve done a quarters worth. I’ve focused on discussing places because that interests me. It seems relevant to being an architect and, thus, not too random. Yet, as the weeks have passed, I have written what’s on my mind, caring less whether it’s business relevant. I’ve tried to keep it authentic and not at all sales or marketing-like. Actually, I’ve not tried to do the latter. It wouldn’t be me.

So over to Lisa this week with our aforementioned monthly newsletter and this week’s links. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Any comments or suggestions you can get me at carl@carlarchitect.co.uk

All the best

Carl's signature

A house for all seasons

If ever there was a month when we really should have some good weather in the UK, it’s August, and yet here we are mid-way through a month that’s been dominated by overcast skies, rain and even gales doing little for the spirits. Wearing a sweater at home in August seems all wrong.

But cast your mind back a few weeks when we basked in a heatwave the UK had its hottest June on record. Were we happy about it? Yes and no. In the UK we always welcome the sun, at first. Sales of BBQs and garden furniture increase with the mercury, but it’s never very long before people struggle to keep their cool. We debate whether it’s best to have windows closed to keep the warm air out or open to create a breeze. We buy fans. We close the curtains.

Fast forward to winter and the cost of heating will be back on everyone’s agenda. Why is the cycle so relentless? One reason is that our homes in the UK are the least energy-efficient in Europe. They are also among the oldest, with over half built before 1965 and 20 per cent before 1919. They are often poorly insulated, leaking precious heat in winter and warming up in summer.

The polar opposite if you like, would be what architects refer to as a Passivehaus – a system of creating homes for maximum energy efficiency and thermal performance. In fact, it goes much further than that. But the principles can be applied for those of us who just want to save money and energy and keep our homes at a comfortable, liveable temperature.

Insulating your house is the best way to help maintain a constant temperature. Then installing triple glazing, which has a lower u-value than double glazing therefore less heat loss and even insulated frames. The outlay is costly at the time, but you’ll be toasty in the winter, and it might just help you chill out in summer. See our article on this and the links below for more advice and inspiration.

Are you Kenough?

Have you been following our current build-in-progress as it develops this year? We’ve been talking to homeowner Ken (no not that one) about how he and his wife are dealing with life while their house is a building site.

“There are things I wish I’d known at the get-go but, without getting all Donald Rumsfeld, we didn’t know what we didn’t know, and I’m sure there are more unknown unknowns lurking around the corner!”

Next month we’ll introduce Mark Fitzgerald of MJF Builders Ltd, the contractor doing the extension on Ken’s home. Spoiler alert – we didn’t design a Mojo Dojo Casa House.

Before and after

Before and after images of a redesigned house

This month’s before and after photos come from a home in Southsea designed by Carl and constructed by Mark of MJF Builders Ltd – we could say they’re the dream team and we think the photos speak for themselves. See more before and after photos.

Have you found us on social media yet?

CARL Architect is taking baby steps on Instagram and Facebook, so give us a follow or a like as we find our feet and tell us what you’d like to see more of.


This week’s links

Ten energy-efficient homes designed to Passivhaus standards

This article on double-glazing versus triple glazing is worth a read

Find out more about how insulation helps keep you cool in summer

Advice for an energy-efficient home

Main image credit: Marie Anna Baráková

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