How Green and Blue Help Architects Design a Simple Sustainable Future
Meet Luke, an experienced architect who, along with Carrie, lead Butcher Bayley Architects (BBA) in Cambridgeshire.
As well as being passionate about his work as an architect, Luke also studied Environmental Building Design which is reflected in the attention to detail in all the projects he completes.
Challenge – to make space for nature in all our designs
Luke’s work is mostly residential projects in the East of England – for example, working with young families that are desperate for more room to grow.
He creates high quality fantastic new spaces that fulfil his client’s hopes and dreams while meeting their time and budget needs.
However, the process of construction and demolition creates environmental issues that Luke is very aware of
“We are conscious that construction is terrible for the planet in lots of ways and is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions.”
And frustratingly, environmentally friendly options are usually much more expensive than standard options. An eco-friendly paint for example can be 4 x the price.
Not a priority when budgets are tight.
So as part of the planning stage of the design, Luke looks to incorporate features that mitigate this, reusing bricks where possible, suggesting green heating and insulation options, as well as considering protecting the natural environment
“If we are building an extension which means losing some garden then we will look for ways we can compensate for this. For example, all our flat roofs are thriving green living roofs – this redresses the biodiversity for that house.”
Luke was keen to do more wherever he could.
Solution – Green&Blue sustainable products for nature
Luke discovered Green&Blue several years ago and was immediately impressed with the range of products that he could incorporate into his designs to make them havens for wildlife.
“Green&Blue supply us with a range of products that make it easy to consider nature and wildlife when designing our projects.”
Luke visited Green&Blue while on holiday in Cornwall and loved their set-up.
“We saw the Bee Bricks actually being made which was amazing. They are a fantastic company with a great ethos, using locally sourced materials and recyclable packaging. As well as being really friendly people and giving us great service.”
Green&Blue products are now integral to the designs that Luke shares with his clients at the beginning of a project.
Quite often, he finds that families have pressing priorities such as the need for more space and tight budgets but are impressed that their project can make a space for nature at no extra cost to themselves
“Not every client is in a position to afford to make the big changes, so these small changes all add up.”
Results – great homes for our clients, and for wildlife too
Luke has had some fantastic feedback from his customers and his Green&Blue environmental features have become his signature trademark.
“I don’t see this as an extra service, all buildings should be as environmentally friendly as possible, depending on budget and project suitability – it’s just the right thing to do and no extra work for our contractors.”
Luke holds a small stock of bee blocks and Bee Bricks in different colours and orders direct depending on the project. Not all projects have bricks, so he gets creative with nest boxes or planters, so everyone gets something.
“If we can’t work in a Bee Brick then there is always something in their range that we can provide. We have never had to look further than Green&Blue; we have always found something that will do the job we want.”
Luke is impressed with the ethos of the company and the potential for the simple improvements to biodiversity that can be made so easily.
A small but vital part of the design – can you spot the bee block waiting to go into this rear extension in Cambridge?
“Our clients have been so impressed that they have bought more products for other parts of their house and gardens and even for presents!
We are big fans and have lots of their products at home.”
Luke found that although considering wildlife wasn’t usually high on his client’s agenda when initially discussing the project, they love the results and are keen to spread the word
“One client told us how much their daughter loves sitting watching the bees come and go, and we have discovered a family of blue tits nesting in one of the bird blocks. Plus some of our contractors have seen how easy they are to incorporate and have started to add them into their other projects – it’s not expensive and makes such a difference.
Photo by Matthew Smith Architectural Photography
"This is Copper House – you can see the Bee Brick there, just doing its thing.
In these times when costs are high sometimes a Bee Brick is the only thing we can get into a project to make an environmental difference.
All these small changes add up to benefit the planet."
And how fantastic to see this Swift Block being used as a nest at our annexe project in Cambridgeshire.
2 homes in one!"
Luke and Butcher Bayley Architects will continue to use Green&Blue products in their designs, absorbing this into their fee to create a design that meets the needs of their clients and the planet.
“If we can support the world around us in the right way then we should all be doing that as socially responsible professionals.
Green&Blue help us to do that.
They are a really great company and should be very proud of the work they do; we have never had negative feedback.”
Explore the range of Green&Blue products and see how your company can make a space for nature either as part of a new build design or as part of improving existing housing and extensions.