bere:architects are currently working on the low-energy retrofit of an old stone thatched cottage with new Passivhaus additions for a client who is an expert in permaculture and intends to use the cottage, outbuildings, and nine acres of land to create a near self-sufficient life. We visited site last week in the deepest Wiltshire countryside to discuss the final proposals with the client following a presentation of the scheme to local residents.


The first part of a six month programme of monitoring, funded by the TSB (Technology Strategy Board), has now been completed at our Larch House in Ebbw Vale. In collaboration with the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University we have been carrying out co-heating tests on the Larch house over the past 4 weeks. During the tests the house has been heated up to 25 degrees by electrical heaters. The electrical energy required to maintain a constant temperature has been monitored in order to calculate the as built thermographic properties of the house.


Construction of the Mayville Community Centre is now progressing well on site with construction of the new super insulated roof nearing completion. All Metal Roofing have completed the zinc works on the north facing side of the main roof with works to the south roof well underway this week.


1. Camden Passivhaus, 4 Ranulf Road - Thermal imaging compared to neighbouring traditional houses


An early review of the feed-in tariff, announced by DECC last week, has sparked a lot of controversy. The review is prompted by the number of solar farms that have applied for planning permission and which DECC claims are ’soaking up the tariffs.’

Justin Bere of Bere Architects sent the following comment:

Time To Get Active On Passive

Larch House fetaured in Showhouse magazine, January 2011.


I’m in Munich this week at the BAU construction exhibition partly to get a better understanding of where we need to go in our local skills and product manufacturing in the UK. For example, one piece of research was to find out more about the timber frame laminating techniques that Holz Schiller of Bavaria use in order to supply window joiners across Germany with cheap but technically superb frame blanks. This enables the German joiners to produce extremely energy efficient, strong, long lasting, distortion-free, draught-free and condensation free windows….


bere:architects are pleased to be undertaking two retrofits as part of the TSBs Retrofit for the Future program. To follow these blogs click on the links at the bottom of this post.


Camden Council have produced a ground-breaking low carbon building section of their official website. This helps interested people to learn about low-carbon buildings in their community and may be a good model for other councils to copy.

Our Camden Passivhaus has just been included on the website:


Update photograph inside the rooftop living room of bere:architects’ first London house, built 15 years ago; still one of our favourite houses.


Subscribe to Bere:Architects blog feed