Every building project has an impact on the environment. This happens locally, through its impact on townscapes or countryside; regionally, through the sourcing, manufacture and transport of building materials, labour and water; or globally, through the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on our warming planet.
With careful forethought and design however, it is possible to mitigate the worst of a building’s impact and have a net positive benefit in terms of occupant health and well-being. At Awen Design, we aim to position sustainable design considerations at the centre of the design brief and ensure that the best environmental practices are embedded in our schemes from the outset.
knowledge is for sharing - we look forward to sharing all we have learnt from the low carbon community
honest design that is true to building materials and true to the ambition of minimal environmental impact
our passion for a more eco-friendly future drives our work through responsible creative design
Mark has been practising as an architect for over 27 years, with considerable experience in low energy architecture and retrofit on a wide variety of award-winning projects. His interest in sustainable design stems from a combined architectural and engineering education at the University of Bath. He continued his architectural education with a diploma at the University of Plymouth, with a particular interest in German 'organic' architecture.
Mark believes that the deep understanding of building physics and detailing rigour that Passivhaus training brings, coupled with an extensive knowledge of building materials and their environmental impacts, can bring greater credibility to the design process.
Mark is an accredited European Passivhaus Designer and was UK jury member for the 2014 International Passivhaus Awards. He was a committee member on the RIBA Sustainable Futures group for 6 years and now attends CIBSE’s ‘Homes for the Future’ group as an architect representative.
Mark regularly works tutoring students on behalf of the Passivhaus Trust at universities such as UWE and Oxford Brookes, and has lectured on Passivhaus design at Truro College in Cornwall. He has been a regular speaker at conferences, domestically and in the USA, on retrofit and sustainable design generally.
After graduating he started his career at HLM Architects where he was responsible for a number of office and education projects including Arundel Great Court conference building in the Strand and the University of Surrey’s School of Management (above).
He joined ECD Architects in 2001 where he broadened his interest and experience in low carbon design through projects such as the Sustainable Building Center for the Wolseley group. His experience of retrofit began 15 years ago with the award-winning pilot project 'Retrofit & Replicate'.
Mark joined Sustainable by Design LLP as a Partner in 2013, working on a number of large scale retrofit and Passivhaus standard residential projects.
From 2016 to 2023, Mark moved to Cowan Architects as Associate Director appointed to run their London office with a focus on Passivhaus dwelling projects, both new-build and barn conversions, and high-rise fire safety cladding remediation in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.
As well as sustainable new build schemes, Mark is recognised for his work on ground-breaking social housing retrofit projects at ECDA, including the Edward Woods estate in London and Wilmcote House, the UK’s largest EnerPHit refurbishment project in Portsmouth. Both of these deep retrofit exemplars feature in the LSE studies ‘High Rise Hope’ and 'High Rise Hope Revisited'.
Still at ECDA, he was successful in being appointed to a number of social housing retrofits within the government's 'Retrofit for the Future' initiative. Working with SbyD partners and German specialist Gumpp & Maier, the Parkview Hub retrofit in Thamesmead, east London (above), pre-empted the ‘Energiesprong’ model of prefabricated retrofit, reducing space heating demand by over 80%.
He wrote the Institute for Sustainability’s guide on 'Improving Building Fabric' and has been a course tutor on this topic for the Retrofit Academy. He currently represents the AECB on the National Retrofit Hub (Working Group 1).
We love designing buildings but we also love working with passionate clients, knowledgeable suppliers, and skilled builders. Above all, we promise to listen as we help guide you through the design process, from concept to planning consent, through technical design and tender, and ultimately construction and completion.
We pride ourselves on being good communicators, whether that be with new clients, uncertain of their exact needs and looking for knowledgeable guidance and creative ideas, or with seasoned builders, looking for practical solutions to innovative construction details.