Half-day seminar – Indoor Air Quality

Why are new homes failing to achieve basic levels of indoor air quality?

CPD Event – Why are new homes failing to achieve basic levels of indoor air quality? Exploring the pitfalls and unintended health consequences of the drive towards low carbon homes.

Cartwright Pickard are hosting a morning seminar at the British Library to discuss the effect modern housing design and construction is having on the health and wellbeing of building occupants. The aim of the seminar is to highlight some of the key problems repeatedly being found in new homes and housing developments across the country, and to provoke discussion on how current industry practice can be changed for the better. Cartwright Pickard will be joined by speakers from the Glasgow School of Art, Zero Carbon Hub, and the Good Homes Alliance.


Event summary

Progress towards achieving the government’s 2016 zero carbon homes target has primarily been led through incremental changes to Part L of the Building Regulations, resulting in the proliferation of new technologies and design strategies in contemporary housing – but at what cost?

This half-day seminar brings together a panel of leading figures in housing design, environmental research and policy. They will examine the need for regulatory change in the design and construction of new homes, and explore potential solutions to the unintended consequences of low carbon design.

This seminar will include important new evidence gathered from a 2-year government funded research project looking at indoor air quality in new homes, completed by Cartwright Pickard Architects in partnership with the Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit.

Attending this event will benefit anyone with an interest or involvement in housing design, development, construction, maintenance, and management. Over the 3 hour session the 4 speakers will discuss:

  • new research into overheating and air quality in new homes
  • the knock-on effects of designing homes to meet low energy standards
  • recurring problems found in new housing developments and how they may be avoided
  • investigations into natural ventilation and mechanical systems
  • recent government announcements around zero carbon homes

This event is intended to highlight recurring issues in housing design and to provoke debate and industry action to effect change. There will be Q&A opportunities throughout the session and an open panel discussion followed by networking and refreshments to conclude.

If you have any questions about this event please email weaskquestions@cartwrightpickard.com.

Event details

DateThursday 19th November 2015
Time9:30 - 1:00pm (registration opens at 8:30, coffee provided)
VenueMain Auditorium, British Library, 96 EustonRoad, London, NW1 2DB
Cost£85 +VAT per delegate


8:30Registration and coffee
9:30Welcome and introduction - James Pickard
9:40James Pickard, Director - Cartwright Pickard Architects - 'Are our homes making people sick?' - The results from a two year research project into indoor environment quality and the performance of new housing.
10:10Professor Tim Sharpe, Director - Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit - 'Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Ventilation choices for contemporary housing occupants' - Results from recent investigations into natural ventilation and MVHR systems.
10:40Pete Halsall, Chief Executive - The Good Homes Alliance - 'Health and wellbeing benefits and risks in the context of climate change' - A look at both the benefits and impacts sustainable homes can have on occupant health
11:10Rob Pannell, Managing Director - Zero Carbon Hub - 'Overheating, Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality: Regulation or good design?' - Discussion of the recent government announcements around zero carbon homes, and a look at current Zero Carbon Hub projects into overheating and air quality in new homes.
11:40Panel discussion
12:00Networking and refreshments
13:00Event closes



James Pickard, Director – Cartwright Pickard Architects

James is co-founder of Cartwright Pickard, an award winning architectural practice established in 1997 that have designed and built numerous housing projects and developed a number of off site housing systems. James has been an advisor to several foreign governments on developing innovative affordable housing solutions and was on the steering board for the Urban Land Institute’s recent ‘Built to Rent’ best-practice guide to the private rental sector.

He has carried out government funded research into low energy building design and occupier productivity, and residential building performance evaluation. He is a visiting professor at the University of Glasgow School of Art. James has helped the practice to develop an international reputation for innovation and the practical use of offsite construction methods, with particular focus on lean, low carbon solutions.

Professor Tim Sharpe, Director – MEARU, Glasgow School of Art

A graduate of Dundee and Strathclyde Universities, Prof. Sharpe has both practice and research experience in a number of fields, including user participation, environmental design and sustainability. His Ph.D. examined the nature of community architecture and design participation and looked in detail at the potential for CAD for participatory design projects.

More recent work has focussed on the use of low energy and low carbon design, and current projects are looking at impacts of sunshine in housing on health and well-being, the performance of low carbon and low energy buildings and how this knowledge can be fed back into design. He is an expert evaluator for the UK Government Innovate UK Building Performance Evaluation Programme and has undertaken research on behalf of Building Standards, architects, housing associations and contractors. He is also Head of Architectural Technology at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, and Director of the Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU).

Pete Halsall, Chief Executive – Good Homes Alliance

Pete Halsall is a sustainable community developer, with a background in property development, construction and environmental engineering. He was co-founder and Managing Director of BioRegional Quintain Ltd., where he successfully led the company in securing developments at Middlesbrough (development agreement with EP) and Brighton (JV with Crest Nicholson). Pete is passionate about regeneration, sustainability and architecture. He is the CEO of the Good Homes Alliance. He is a graduate of Bath University and has worked in the UK, Spain, US and China.

Rob Pannell, Managing Director – Zero Carbon Hub

Rob Pannell is the Managing Director of the Zero Carbon Hub, a role to which he brings a wide range of knowledge regarding sustainability, innovations, technology prototypes, trials and solutions. Prior to joining the Zero Carbon Hub, Rob was a senior figure in the construction industry with over 35 years of experience with Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd. where he held a series of senior level roles, most recently as UK Director of Production (construction and design). Within this position Rob investigated and established a cost base and technical compliance of practical renewable energy and building fabric solutions to meet the various UK government policies.

If you have any questions about this event please email weaskquestions@cartwrightpickard.com.