Do you want to be guided by a seasoned expert who will save you from the heartache and expense of unnecessary mistakes?
- Passive House Architect
- Architectural Design
- Thermal Bridge Modelling
- Housing Quality Assessments
Why Do Clients Choose Me?
As a registered architect with the RIAI and with advanced energy and environmental training, my expertise covers all stages of design and build of hundreds of dwellings from the smallest projects to projects valued at over €150M. I have over 20 years professional experience (13 years working as Director in OMS Architects), and I am one of the foremost experts in Ireland on passive house design, an emerging and important aspect of architecture (see Training & Knowledge). They choose me for my unrelenting attention to detail, professional process and pride in the work I do.
Essentially though, they choose me for my ability to translate their vision into reality, to infuse their dreams and their unique style into what is a very personal and meaningful endeavour. They know they have the freedom to express their unique style and preferences, to assert their overriding influence on the design of their home and be listened to by an expert with all of the necessary skills to do the job right, that also avoids long-term problems.
It is extremely frustrating for me to see builds that just don’t work, due to carelessness at the design stage and which could have been avoided had the designer the knowledge and experience to adjust the plans at the beginning. Often, projects take on an aspect of problem solving. I can spot these problems a mile off, and work the design to get the best solution possible within the confines of the project.
Ultimately, all of this translates into the fusing of your vision with quality design aesthetic and the rigours of building performance targets. And it shows in the final result: Considerate and stylish solutions that create a delightful ambiance, reflecting your identity, combined with well-proportioned space, warmth and high air quality in a home that will bring you joy for many years to come.
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Qualifications, Training & Knowledge
With over two decades of experience, expert masters degrees, most recently MSc Architecture in Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies awarded with Merit in 2012, I have all of the skills required. I am a registered architect with RIAI Environmental CPD Accreditation received in 2013 in regognition of my expertise in the field of Environmental Architecture, one of only seven currently accredited under this scheme. I am a Certified Passive House Designer and Thermal Modeller following successfully completing a third level diploma course at Dublin Institute of Technology in June 2013. I also collaborate with leading practitioners in the field.
I continuously keep abreast of latest research, and I am often found attending key industry conferences both in Ireland and abroad, as well as architectural forums and groups online. I also maintain a network of vibrant industry partners.
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Passive House Architect
Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) is the software developed by the Passive House Institute in Germany for use worldwide in comprehensively analyzing the energy performance of your project using building physics principles. Minute detail of every pane of glass is entered along with floors, walls and roofs, ventilation, solar gain, electricity, airtightness, water heating and thermal bridging.
PHPP when complete can be used to iteratively analyse the design performance of the various elements to optimize the design.
Detailing is key to almost zero thermal bridges desired in Passive House for each fabric junction along with window installation. This is an area that is also key to airtightness performance.
Should you choose to obtain Certification for your project from the Passive House Institute, the PHPP will predict compliance and we can work with approved certifiers to achieve your goal.
Thermal Bridge Modelling
Increased levels of insulation have put more emphasis on the building fabric junctions, where there is a change in direction in plan or section, a change in material or thickness and where different components join to make up what is called the building envelope that protects and keeps you comfortable in your home regardless of the external environment.
These junctions can be analysed using computer thermal modeling techniques for both Building Regulation compliance and Passive House. Thermal Bridge losses can account for 25% of the fabric heat wasted in a highly insulated dwelling so getting them right can have huge benefits.
Low Energy Design have third level Diploma level course training in the first progamme of it’s kind worldwide and offer thermal modeling to improve your BER, compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations or demonstrating accurate psi values for Passive House Design.
James Walsh has been accepted for the NSAI Approved Thermal Modellers Scheme competent to thermally model junction details and calculate their linear thermal transmittance as allowed for in Part L of the Building Regulations and as part of Y factor calculations entered into DEAP for Building Energy Ratings.
Housing Quality Assessments
Low Energy Design can carry out a housing quality assessment of your project large or small. The larger schemes must meet eight Department of Environment standards from the city, town, neighbourhood level to room spaces and layouts. Best practice guidance from Ireland, the UK and Europe is used to enhance the design standard of your project.
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I will generally recommend the appointment of other design professionals such as a structural engineer and quantity surveyor to give preliminary budgets. If relevant for some projects a mechanical and electrical engineer should be considered.
Other consultants that may be required include a BER Assessor, Planning Consultant, Landscape Architect, Fire Safety, Sound, Accessibility, Historic Buildings, Health & Safety. Generally only one may be required for specialist advice unless it is a large complex project.
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