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Business Description

Arbor Architects is a RIBA Chartered practice for sustainable architecture. Based in Herefordshire, we bring our expertise to projects in our neighbourhood and beyond.

With a focus on bio-based materials and optimising building performance (particularly Passivhaus / EnerPHit and Deep-Retrofit), Arbor Architects design beautiful spaces that are holistically low energy.

Our work is underpinned by the ethos that it is only possible to deliver well crafted, timeless and enriching spaces if the architecture is rooted in a response to its context. With a rigorous understanding of people, place and the environment we deliver innovative design solutions that are both cost effective and environmentally responsive. Our use of natural materials create spaces that entice the senses, age beautifully and create healthy internal environments.

We are passionate about putting people at the centre of what we do and creating places that will enrich, delight and perform. To achieve this, we work closely with our clients, stakeholders and the local community to develop a thorough understanding of their needs and aspirations. Through our use of sketches, models and 3D visualisations, our clients are involved in every stage of the design process.

The Shell Store, Canary Drive, Skylon Park, Hereford, HR2 6SR

Rotherwas Industrial Estate
United Kingdom
Jalan Passivhaus

The client’s aspiration is to create a home with an exemplary level of energy performance that will achieve the Passivhaus quality assurance standard. Retrofitting the building fabric of the existing 1960s dwelling on the site to this standard would not be financially or physically feasible, so the clients want to replace the dwelling with a new built form that is orientated to optimise solar gain and designed with an optimal massing and layout to achieve Passivhaus. In line with the surrounding context and local vernacular of the village, the material palette has been carefully selected to utilise local stone, charred timber and natural zinc. Materials that sit well within their context and blend into the landscape. The design takes on board the idea of a rusticated base, learning from the refined historic buildings in the area, while the timber upper floor picks up on the simpler detailing of the agricultural buildings in the area.

The Tin Barn EnerPHit, Marshfield

The Tin Barn EnerPHit project turns a derelict set of barns into an exemplary Passivhaus home. On a rural plot on the outskirts of Bath, the clients wanted a home that would be more manageable in scale and more cost-effective to run, allowing them to live more sustainably. They also needed space to work from home and let a vegetable plot flow between the wildflower meadows into the rolling countryside beyond. The project is designed to the stringent Passivhaus EnerPHit standard for the retrofit of existing buildings. This will create a highly insulated, draught-free and thermal bridge free, set of barns. The rural location of the Cotswolds barn conversion has influenced its aesthetic with agricultural materials such as corrugated metal roofing, sandstone walls and Oak & Larch cladding. Internally, the building draws on the richness and textures in the oak panelling, stonewalls and exposed ceilings.

Cwm Barn

The driving force behind the brief for this project was to create a low energy retreat away from the main house where the client’s and their teenage children can work, exercise and relax. The space needed to house flexible, multi-use spaces that connect with the garden and the far reaching views across the Herefordshire landscape.

As part of the project, the clients also wanted to make their site more resilient in energy terms and to move away from a fossil fuel based heating system towards a cleaner, renewable energy solution. By building with fabric first principles and making modest upgrades to the fabric of their existing house, the installation of a ground source heat pump and a PV array will make the whole site zero carbon in operation.

Elly Deacon Smith
Matt Hayes
Rachel Hare