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ASK ARCHITECT: What home insulation has to with UK Energy Crisis?

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Wholesale energy prices in the UK have surged to a record high.Although there are several factors for this, oneof the main reasons is an increased global demand for gas.Ministers have held recent crisis talks with UK energy suppliers to discuss how serious the situation may become as the colder months draw in. The Guardian has warned that this winter’s energy prices will be at the highest in over a decade, forcing an additional half a million people into fuel poverty. Over 80% of households in the UKrely on gas to heat their homesWhile a transition to low-carbon heating systems will reduce CO2 emissions, a more holistic approach is necessary to adapt UK homes to the risks of climate change. Ensuring that all UK homes are properly insulated will reduce the energy required for heating and provide more comfortable housing.Architects in support of Insulate BritainBenjamin Derbyshire, former president of the RIBA, is a supporter of the campaign INSULATE BRITAIN. “Britain has the leakiest and poorest performing housing in Europe,” he said. “We have no chance of achieving net zero carbon by 2025 unless we begin to treat housing as infrastructure and invest in it, so that like all other forms of infrastructure, it is accessible, well designed, safe to use and, most of all, environmentally sustainable

ASK ARCHITECT Is A Basement Extension Right For My Property?

A basement extension can create new rooms with unique qualities. From an architectural perspective, subterranean spaces may not be perfect for a kitchen or dining room due to reduced natural light and views.Basements can, however, work very well for more 1001 Homes has a track record of successful consents for basement projects throughout London, including in Islington, Camden, Haringey, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea. View ourrecent work, or contact us on07746055146 to discuss your project.Is a basement right for your property?

There are a series of key initial considerations:

Estimate the construction cost with your architect. A finished basement typically costs between £4,500 and £6,000/sqm, excluding VAT and fees.

Does the potential value added to the house cover the construction cost? Show your plans tolocal estate agents to estimate the value added.

Consider a desktop study of your property: what lies on or beneath your site? Are there watercourses nearby?Does the area have a history of flooding?

There are additional controls ontrees works in conservation areas and root protection zones need to be considered. An arboriculturist’s reportcan make a case for the removal or replacement of a tree.

Consider that retaining walls can be up to 700mm thick, so these may reduce the useable basement floor space on narrow properties.Appointing an ArchitectWhen choosing architect look for a practice that has experience of working on basement extensions, as they will be familiar with local planning policy and the technical requirements of these projects, which are often complex. An architect will guide you through the complete process: assessing your budget, developing a design that suits your needs, achieving planning consents, selecting a builder and assisting during construction 1001 Homes achieved planning consent for a basement extension with a front light well in Islington.

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