Tom Spriggs Architect Ltd is now a member of The Green Register. The Green Register is an educational body specialising in sustainable practices and techniques. They hold seminars and teaching sessions for members on a wide range of subjects from heat pumps to lime mortars, Passivehaus to thermal insulation and other sustainable solutions.

They teach primarily a ‘fabric first’ approach, which ensures that the fabric, or the walls, floors, windows and roof of a building are performing their best before applying micro generation or other such measures. It is far better to firstly use less, then use wisely and then finally generate energy to compensate for a buildings use.

The vast majority of a building’s energy is tied up in two forms. The space heating of the rooms, and the embodied energy, or the energy used in making all the materials from mining, transport and factories.

Ensuring the building is fit for purpose, flexible, desirable and possible to adapt in the future is tied up in the design process and brief. A long-lived building is the most sustainable and a long lived building needs to be functional and desirable, eg. good design.

Building, converting and upgrading buildings with a fabric-first approach will ensure that the space heating energy use is as efficient as possible, needing less energy to run for the ongoing future. Combining this with renewable technologies is then the ‘gold standard’.

Membership of The Green Register is open to people/firms who have attended at least one of their professional training courses.