"Green" Design and Sustainability



Povall Worthington has
BS 14001 (Environmental Management System)

With each update of statutory building regulations higher targets are set for the thermal efficiency of our buildings. Interestingly, however there is an increasing number of our clients who are requesting that building performance should be better than the regulatory minimum. This is undoubtedly largely driven by the desire to mitigate against ever increasing fuel costs, but there is also an increased environmental and social awareness which has moved  clients and designers to realize projects with a greater sensitivity and respect for the environment. This is significant for us as designers because proposals and products which previously had been regarded as "too radical" are no longer considered as such but absolutely necessary going forward.

Where a brief does not expressly identify specific “green” targets Povall Worthington will as a matter of course draw on our experience and knowledge of materials, technology and detail construction to deliver as "green" a building as possible. This is integral to our design methodology.



carbon output targets thermal modelling site analysis
energy use benchmarks insulation options fuel and energy options
air permeability factors waste treatment passive influences
BREEAM guidelines renewables strategy daylight assessments
future proofing recycling strategy sustainability
EXPERIENCE   Our senior staff have experience on significant "eco" projects. John Lee (Director) and Richard Mawhinney (Associate) were project architects on the award winning ECOS Centre in Northern Ireland. This is a Regional Resource and Information Centre designed and functioning as a demonstrator for the application of bio-diversity and sustainability principles. Installations within the scheme include  waste management, recycling, bio-mass boilers, CHP units , PV arrays,  a wind turbine and solar panels.  





Povall Worthington can review older buildings as well as new designs to establish how and where low-impact and energy-saving elements can be introduced. Cathal Breen (Associate) has undertaken a review of the energy profile of the Grade 1 Listed Hillsborough Castle and successfully upgraded insulation and heating and ventilation systems and integrated a bio-mass heating plant and solar panel arrays. The review process included assessment of a number of other possible installations such as wind turbines and the re-juvenation of a defunct hydro-plant on the site but these were withheld from the recent works being not viable - at the moment.


John Humes (Director) is currently working on the design for this nursery school/ community/ day centre. It is a combination of a major extension with a total remodelling of an existing structure. The fabric and services in the existing building are reaching the end of their design-life and contributing to increasing running and energy costs. Our proposals for the new building include use of passive measures together with a heating and ventilation system which is integrated with a heat recovery and management system providing efficient fuel use for the seasonal and daily usage patterns. On completion the target benchmarks set initially will be assessed through post occupation evaluation.




John Humes (Director) is currently working on the conversion and extension of an old stone-built mill creating a unique and contemporary family residence. The site is at a remote location within open countryside and fringed by a small stream. Following the initial appraisal the design has integrated and been shaped by the following elements

  • Passive solar gain

  • Solar panel water heating

  • Water harvesting and recycling

  • Super-insulation

  • Building mass as heat tank

  • Natural daylight

  • Heat recovery

  • Controlled air change & ventilation with heat recovery

  • Ground source heat

  • Future-proofing for wind turbine and PV array