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Business Description

Andrew Kirby Architects (AK.A) is an RIBA Chartered Architects Practice in Totnes, Devon. Established in 2005, we are a practice that believes and specialises in delivering high quality Social Impact and Environmental Design solutions for Communities, Social Enterprises, Institutions and Private Clients.

In our work and service to our valued clients, AK.A has consistently delivered projects using leading Sustainable and Ecological Design expertise, balanced with meaningful and notable contemporary design of spaces, appearance and place making.

We offer a full range of Architects Services covering Housing, Education, Leisure and Conservation sectors on project sizes ranging from small ‘one off’ eco projects, to masterplanning large sites.

However, we are most recognized for the valuable expertise we have gained in working with Local Communities to deliver innovative, sustainable and affordable ‘Social Impact’ Housing and Mixed Use projects.

AK.A are also noted for designing and managing ‘one off’ private residential homes with very high design standards, which meet exemplar sustainable credentials in challenging planning locations.

We are Certified Passivhaus Designers, which can be adapted to all sectors and sizes of project.

We give a very friendly and professional service, to understand the clients’ requirements, project context, and deliver creative design solutions that are of minimal environmental impact, cost effective, and imaginative.

Windy Croft Passivhaus

AK.A were appointed to deliver an exemplar, certified passivehaus in a very sensitive planning location on Dartmoor, Devon. The clients brief had to be carefully balanced with critical planning volume criteria to achieve planning permission, which was won through unanimous support at Committee.

The elevated position, just below Haytor on Dartmoor, informed an open plan living brief with floor-to-ceiling glazing giving far reaching views across Dartmoor to the south. Large areas of glazing are carefully shaded with Brise-Soleil and overhangs to avoid overheating whilst making the most of low winter sun heat gain during the winter months.

The building fabric combines the best of natural low embodied energy materials with ‘high tec’, precision design / construction principles.


Winton Passivhaus (LEB)

Winton Passivhaus is a contemporary home built in an elevated south west facing position in Totnes. Designed and built to a modest budget, the brief is for a very low energy solution, with flexible open plan spaces maximising views and natural light.

The PHPP energy model was careful to avoid overheating concerns with a first floor overhang and a recessed terrace shading the large south facing glazing areas, which give floor-to-ceiling views.

The building fabric combines the best of natural low embodied energy materials with ‘high tec’, precision design / construction.

Straw Bale Affordable Housing

“Low Cost Self Build Houses for ‘Low Impact’ living”

This project arose from a competition submission, where we designed adaptable, low cost, timber frame and straw bale ‘house types’, from which we could test the feasibility of the units on rural sites around South Devon.

We were subsequently commissioned to design 6 simple, low cost, low environmental impact, self build houses for Broadhempston Community Land Trust (CLT) based on our straw bale house types.

The site was a rural field on the edge of the village, outside of the development boundary. Planning Permission could only be achieved by demonstrating the land as an ‘exception site’, where high quality design and 100% affordability were crucial planning criteria. The work of AK.A and BCLT won the support of Teignbridge District Council, who now use the project as a pilot for their regional affordable housing programme.

Andrew Kirby