Our growing CarbonLite retrofit graduate community

Meet and contact our graduates:

a clr graduateDaren Thomas at A-Tec Design, Cornwall

In 1996 A-Tec Design was formed and I went onto become a Chartered Architectural Technologist in 2004. As well as running the practice I have a keen interest in sustainable design keeping abreast of new or old techniques to improve my knowledge of how to enhance the construction process and to improve the energy performance of the buildings belonging to our clients. In 2009 I trained in the use of the PassivHaus design software which will become the main energy design tool in the next few years. I have been a member of the AECB for a number of years now, and when the opportunity arose to participate in the CarbonLite Retrofit training course I was keen to participate. The course concentrates on the issues related to heat and moisture in buildings, and understanding and managing the cause and affect, and the possible ways to avoid the problems occurring. I have found great benefit from working through the different modules and from the online discussions. I believe the course is great value and would recommend to any other professionals keen to improve their knowledge and quality of understanding when making design decisions, related to this course. I wish that this course was available when I started my training over 30 years ago.” Contact Daren here.

a clr graduateDavid Wilson at David Wilson Design (Architects), Gloucestershire

I was a participant in the 2016 CarbonLite Retrofit course and am finding the insight and knowledge gained to be extremely valuable in my small architectural practice. The course covers a wide range of topic areas including the wider context of climate change; the opportunities for significant improvements in the energy performance of buildings; the types of housing likely to be encountered in the UK; the physics of buildings (both energy and moisture); analysis of real-life constructions and interventions; the economics of different retrofit strategies. On account of the amount of material covered by the course, I expect I will need to revise one or more topics when taking on future projects. Fortunately, the course providers have recognised this need and have taken steps to make the material available on a long-term basis.” Contact David here.

retrofit studentEs Tresidder at Lean Green Consulting, Scotland

I am a certified Passive House designer based in the west highlands of Scotland. I finished my PhD in low-energy building design optimisation in 2014 and was keen to move to consulting on real-world projects full time (I’d been doing some consultancy before and during my PhD). Through the Passive House designer and then the CarbonLite retrofit course I gained a tonne of relevant knowledge and skills to build on everything I’d learnt during my PhD and apply it in the real world. I recently moved back to the UK (I was living in Belgium) and am excited to get involved in some Passive House and deep retrofit projects here, both locally on the west coast and in the rest of the UK (I’m adept at working remotely, having completed many consultancy projects this way, and I don’t mind travelling).” Contact Es here.

clr graduateGervase Mangwana at Waxwing Energy, Manchester

“Whilst doing the Renewable Energy and The Built Environment MSc at CAT in 2009 I realised that I wanted to concentrate on lowering emissions from the existing UK housing stock. My thesis focussed on moisture risks associated with this challenge. Since then I have trained in thermal imaging and airtightness testing as well. Based in Manchester I now carry out whole house assessments for a the Carbon Co op’s “My home Energy Planner” and have helped in the development of this useful “Super” SAP tool. From this base, through my own company Waxwing energy, I move on to design and consultancy of part and full retrofit projects, followed by hands on implementation. I also carry out thermal imaging and airtightness testing for other projects where this is of use. The CLR course has helped me to crystallise all that I know already about this field and add considerably to the knowledge. It also provides me with a way of offering some kind of assurances for clients in terms of a recognised program which is otherwise lacking in this market.”  Contact Gervase here.

CLR graduate Richard SpencerRichard Spencer at mylowenergyhome, Leeds

I’m an experienced engineer and project manager now focusing on the built environment and opportunities for designing buildings that are comfortable, healthy and have a lower impact on the environment. I’ve been interested in low energy building for the last 10 years and am currently project managing my own house build aiming for Passivhaus certification and AECB water standard good practice. I strongly believe that retrofitting the existing buildings in the UK is vital for the health of the nation and I completed the CarbonLite retrofit course with this in mind. The course has enabled me to tap into a wealth of practical experience and project learning which will help me to deliver robust deep retrofits. I am currently training for the Certified Passivhaus Consultant qualification with the aim of providing services in PHPP and Therm modelling coupled with practical experience of implementing a low energy home to building owners and architects across Yorkshire and the rest of the country. Having built my own low energy home, I’d like to help other building owners develop a low energy home for their family, business or organisation.”

Matthew Peake at John Coward Architects Ltd, Cumbria

I am a Passivhaus Designer and Chartered Architectural Technologist within an architectural practice based in Cartmel, Cumbria. I am passionate about architecture and the built environment and have over 20 years practice experience. My key areas of interest include a focus on sustainable and energy efficient design and detailing. I am particularly interested in low energy retrofit and have thoroughly enjoyed and gained valuable knowledge on the CLR Retrofit course that I will effectively employ on future projects. I became Director of John Coward Architects in 2016. John Coward Architects is a leading Cumbrian practice working extensively throughout Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire.” Contact Matthew here.

Adele Mills at Simmonds Mills Architects, Herefordshire

“I have been a registered architect since 1989. Before setting up the partnership with Andy Simmonds in 1992, I worked as an architect for Leeds Federated Housing Association, and for private practices in Bristol and Liverpool. This was a great springboard of experience in architectural practice; contract management, low-cost housing, community projects, public participation, before deciding to set up Simmonds.Mills with Andy Simmonds. In the early years of Simmonds.Mills, I worked on site developing my building and site management skills, particularly in the more specialist ecological techniques – earthen construction, pole and other carpentry techniques. Using these skills, I carried out many hands-on building training courses for women and young people. I have been a design tutor at Cardiff University School of Architecture, and at the Centre for Alternative Technology. This hands-on practical experience has been invaluable for design skills. Current specialisms in the practice are in the fields of design aesthetics; client and community participation; planning negotiations; contract administration. I have recently completed the AECB’s Carbonlite Retrofit course”. Contact Adele here.

Maria Hawton-Mead at Hawton Mead Sustainable Design

“I returned to live in Brighton and set up my own sustainable design consultancy in 2006 after completing the sustainable architecture Masters at The Centre of Alternative Technology. Work has included SAP assessments, Passive House Design, and working closely with my local authority developing supplementary planning policy for retrofitting and sustainability standards. I’ve sought to keep abreast of best practice, which has included taking the AECB CarbonLite course. I now recommend maintaining the original breathing wall characteristics of old buildings. Having helped many people build or transform their homes into energy exemplars with well-designed interior space I’m now determined to build my own Passive House using natural materials. The CarbonLite Retrofit course was helpful for my professional work underlining how to focus on appropriate moisture management in tandem with fabric improvements.  Best to create a beautiful healthy home with improved comfort, low fuel bills, low impact and no unintended consequences such as damp, mould or poor air quality.”

Adam HarperAdam Harper

I’m an Assistant Site Manager currently working on large new-build projects. My role includes BREEAM coordination and air-tightness quality control.  Separately to Site Management, I advise some local authorities on integrating sustainability standards for buildings in Local Plans. I was formerly a Sustainability Consultant specialising in CSH, BREEAM ‘Domestic Refurbishment’ and Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) Research.  In 2012 I led a POE studying  on the first Passive House (PH) social housing scheme in the UK.  I hold a Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainability and Adaptation in the Built Environment from CAT.  Going forward I am aiming to manage retrofit projects on site including EnerPHit and also PH new build projects.