Architype

About Us

We design spaces that work for people and the planet.

Our radical approach combines beautiful Passivhaus design with technical excellence.

We keep our promises about building performance and work holistically with clients to create award-winning inspirational and healthy environments.

Our diverse and inclusive team of 68 is moving towards full employee ownership, with collaborative studios in Edinburgh, Hereford and London.

Architype’s uniquely comprehensive approach to the complex demands of sustainable architecture is yielding a body of work of manifest architectural quality... Given their technical mastery of materials, form and participatory design, they are perfectly poised to lead radical new approaches: offering new visions of symbioses between humans and the natural world

Professor Richard Weston,
Architectural critic, author and designer

Services

Architype offer full architectural and master planning services, from feasibility stage through to detailed design and post occupancy evaluation.

We also offer expert carbon and environmental consultancy services. Visit our PERFORM+ pages to find out more or contact us for a chat.

We develop spaces holistically.

The look, feel and impact on people and the planet really matter to us.

We work collaboratively, engaging future users, communities and stakeholders, using sketches, models and technology to create beautiful buildings that not only work for you, but for everyone.

See our projects and awards

We have led the industry for over 35 years in sustainable design, winning the AJ100 sustainable practice of the year award three times.

We believe Passivhaus and Passivhaus Plus are the most effective routes to achieving true zero carbon design and are expert in operational, embodied and lifecycle carbon solutions.

Find out more about Passivhaus here.

We don’t think it’s good enough that most buildings never meet the performance that was promised at design stage, leaving clients with uncomfortable buildings that waste carbon and are expensive to run and maintain.

We know through monitoring our 40 Passivhaus buildings that Passivhaus guarantees performance in ways that no other standard can. Find out more about Passivhaus here.

What Is Passivhaus?

Passivhaus is the world’s most rigorous energy and comfort standard, using super insulation, fresh air, natural daylight and the power of the sun to create high performing buildings that support wellbeing, all year round.

The quality assurance system is backed by a rigorous certification process that guarantees the building will perform efficiently and as promised at design stage. Benefits include:

Performance

  • A typical reduction in energy use of 75% compared to a standard new build - with minimal operational carbon and extremely lowenergy bills
  • High quality construction that avoids building defects such as mould growth, draughts or over heating
  • Excellent standards of thermal comfort and indoor air quality with low CO2 levels and reduced air particulates
  • Optimised lifecycle costs

Architype use Passivhaus because it is based on sound building physics, and unlike any other building standard, has proven its accuracy and performance over a 30 year monitoring period in a range of building types across Europe. Our approach demonstrates that Passivhaus design can create beautiful buildings that do not need to cost more than conventional construction.

Passivhaus bridges the all too common performance gap between prediction and reality, reducing energy consumption by design, rather than relying on renewables to offset carbon.

Pioneers

We introduced the standard to the UK and have succesfully designed 40 Passivhaus buildings in the last decade, helping clients and contractors understand the rigour and quality it demands. We employ 12 certified Passivhaus designers, are founder members of the Passivhaus Trust and chair the Passivhaus Trust in Scotland.

It is not easy to achieve Passivhaus, Passivhaus Plus or EnerPHit - the Passivhaus standard for retro fit buildings. We draw on years of experience and post occupancy evaluation lessons to help clients successfully achieve accreditation.

Passivhaus technical standards that need to be achieved include:

  • Fabric U-values (thermal resistance) of 0.15 W/m²·K for walls, roof and windows
  • Whole unit window and door U-values of 0.8 W/m²·K
  • N50 airtightness of 0.6 air changes per hour under test at 50 pascals of pressure
  • Elimination or reduction of all thermal bridging, or heat loss, through gaps in insulation or construction
  • An efficient mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery (MVHR) to provide high quality fresh air in cold weather, without heat loss

Quality

Simply following these standards alone is not enough to achieve Passivhaus certification. The PHPP (Passivhaus Planning Package) tool must be used to model and optimise the form, orientation and fabric of the building and demonstrate that:

  • The thermal heating requirement does not exceed 15kWh/sqm per year
  • The primary energy demand does not exceed 120 kWh/sqm per year
  • Overheating does not exceed targets

Design and actual construction evidence is provided to an independent certifier who, after a rigorous assessment, will issue Passivhaus certification only if the building fully complies with the standard.

Passivhaus is proven to be highly energy and carbon efficient, economic and healthy. Put simply, it is better design and better construction.

Browse our Passivhaus projects here.

Selected Awards

2020 Highly Commended for the AJ100 Practice of the Year Award

2020 Education Estates’ Education Architect of the Year

2020 CIBSE uilding Performance Awards, Residential Project of the Year, Agar Grove Regeneration

2020 RIBA South East, Imperial War Museums - Shortlisted

2020 RIBA East, Bicester Eco Centre - Shortlisted

2020 Dezeen Awards, Imperial War Museums - Longlisted

2020 Spaces Award - Harris Academy Sutton - Shortlisted

2020 AJ100 Sustainable Initiative of the year - Shortlisted

2020 CIBSE Building Performance Awards, Residential Project of the Year, Agar Grove Regeneration

2019 2016 & 2015 AJ100 Sustainable Practice of the Year

2019 London Design Awards - Agar Grove

2019 RSAW Welsh Architecture Award, Ysgol Trimsaran

2019 RSAW Sustainability Award, Ysgol Trimsaran

2018 CIBSE Best Commerical Project, The Enterprise Centre

2017 RIBA East Regional Award Winner & RIBA Sustainable Project of The Year

2017 Civic Trust Awards - National Award Winner

2016 BCO National Awards - 'Best of the Best' and 'BestCorporate Workplace'

2017 CIBSE, Herefordshire Archive & Record Centre - Highly Commended

2016 AJ100 - AJ Readers Choice Award for Building of the Year, The Enterprise Centre

2016 Constructing Excellence National Awards - Innovation Project of the Year

2016 RSAW Regional Award, Burry Port CommunityPrimary School

2016 The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards, Built Environment Winner, The Enterprise Centre

2016 CIBSE Building Performance Awards, Public Use Building of the Year, Wilkinson Primary School

2016 RSAW Sustainability Award, Burry Port Community Primary School

2016 Winner of the BCO, Best Office Building of the Year Award, The Enterprise Centre

2016 Winner of the Building Good Employers Guide

2015 UK Passivhaus Trust Awards, Winner of Large Projects Category, Wilkinson Primary School

2015 British Council for Offices, Corporate Workplace Award, The Enterprise Centre

2015 AJ Retrofit Schools Award, Robert Fitzroy Academy

2015 RIBA WM Regional Award, Herefordshire Archive and Record Centre

2013 CIBSE Building Performance Award Project of the Year

2012 UK Passivhaus Award, Non-Domestic, Oak Meadow Primary

2012 RIBA Sustainability Award Bushbury Hill Primary

2012 RIBA WM Regional Award Bushbury Hill Primary

2011 BCSE Best SEN School of the Year Willows Campus

2011 BCSE School Architect of the Year

2011 Building Cut the Carbon Award

2010 Quality in Construction Award Project of the Year, St. Luke’s Primary

2010 RIBA Sorrell Foundation Schools Award, St. Luke’s Primary School

2009 Ashden Award Sustainable Energy

2007 National RIBA Sustainability Award Twyford Barn

2007 Building Sustainable Architect of the Year