Dai Gwynne

It is vital to cut carbon emissions and do so soon. One of the key targets must be to reduce the energy consumption of existing buildings including houses (what’s called “low energy retrofit”).

This might look simple enough, and occasionally it is, but all too often there are pitfalls: The wrong choices can lead to problems which lead to discomfort and even to harm to people or property. Not thinking ahead might mean you have to undo your initial work to make the next step.

Take a strategic view. You don’t need to commit to zero-carbon at one step, but you should have a view on how you will approach it. Take each step at the right time to save on disruption and cost. Consider how your house might be changed to be easier to use as well as kinder to the planet.

We use 3-D CAD models, so you can “walk through” your design before making each step. This should give you reassurance about your decisions, and it might allow you to see possibilities that you would not have thought of.

At G Squared Architecture we have a long track record with designing community buildings – usually dealing with existing buildings anything from two to two hundred years old.