Architecture is a powerful creative medium which when experienced emotionally can challenge and alter deeply held opinions and prejudices. If we are to achieve a successful transition to a sustainable future the sustainable option must be as appealing as the non-sustainable. It must be as pleasurable and desirable a life-change as the alternative. In order that people can feel or perceive emotionally this difference, we must as a society, progress attractive alternative examples of good practice. The experience brought on by the sophisticated interaction of built; space, structure and landscape can have a profound and lasting influence.
In our search for an appropriate and regionally distinctive architecture we aim to combine the following core values:
• Promote positive links between construction and the Highland environment
• Respond to the region’s renewable construction resources
• Respond to specific regional conditions - physical and aspirational
• Deliver economic building options which support regional economics
• Construct solutions natural to the region - to our time and place
As sustainability is key to our work, whenever possible we use locally grown and (chemically) untreated timbers in our building projects, along with a carefully selected palette of benign construction materials, again sourced locally wherever possible. Over the years we have developed a system of building which typically involves the use of large section douglas fir timber for the primary structural frame, not only for its structural properties and availability but because our system of build promotes greater space and volume often devoid in much small to medium scale work.
All of our projects include passive energy systems such as high thermal mass in the floor slab in conjunction with extensive south facing glazing, highly insulated walls and roofs with air tight construction methods. We also have experience in numerous active low-energy systems such as wood fuel stoves, solar panels, turbines and photovoltaics.
Read more on the practice here in an article by Peter Wilson.