Active Building Design Workshops

This afternoon I hosted a workshop with Scott Brownrigg Architects at their Cardiff office, where we discussed my developing Active Building Design Guide – I was looking for feedback on its structure, aesthetics, clarity and technical content.  This was the first of several workshops I will be holding with Architects as my Design Guide develops, helping to ensure the final guidance document is one that Architects will genuinely find useful.  Here they are, getting stuck into my guide.

It was a good session and provoked some interesting discussions. One thing that’s becoming clear is that most Architects don’t like reading!

The main purpose of the Design Guide is to help enable the construction industry to adopt the Active Building concept as one of the goals of the Transforming Construction Challenge.  My aim is that the Design Guide acts as a knowledge repository on Active Buildings, providing all the necessary information to enable their design, including: the context; the key principles; innovative renewable energy technologies available for use in Active Buildings; Active Building case studies; lessons learnt; Life Cycle Cost Assessment (LCCA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) considerations; and links to other relevant documents.

My idea to develop a Design Guide for Active Buildings stems from research I undertook as part of the pilot stage of my doctorate, where I questioned Architects on the challenges they could see with trying to introduce any kind of innovation into construction projects.  This slide I used in the workshop highlights some of the challenges identified and those circled are the ones my Design Guide hopes to address:

The main body of the document will be structured around the key principles. At the moment, the structure looks like this:

I also plan to develop a version for students, which I will be testing with architectural students in 2020.

If you’re interested in taking part in a workshop, check out the RSAW Spring Programme, or  get in touch with me directly to arrange a separate workshop, either at your premises or in our Active Classroom, at a time to suit you and your colleagues.

Contact details:, or

Published by jorclarke

I am an Architect, currently working at SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre, Swansea University, and studying for a Doctorate in Sustainable Built Environment (D.SBE), which is focused on developing an Active Building Design Guide.

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