AECB Member Services : Simmonds.Mills Architects

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Trading Name Simmonds.Mills architect builders
Principal Contact Andy Simmonds and Adele Mills
Address Grove Cottage 57 Portfield Street Offices In Shropshire & Herefordshire HR12SE England
Phone 01432 353 443 or 07817 517 194

Legal Details

Date established 1991
Legal status Partnership
Insurance Professional Indemnity Insurance
Membership of Professional Bodies Architect's Registration Board UK
Number of People in the business 2-5

Profile : Simmonds.Mills Architects

Business Sector

Building design/project management

Business description

Hereford office : Grove Cottage 57 Portfield Street, Hereford, HR1 2SE, tel 01432 353 443 / 07817517194.

Shrewsbury office : 14 Bishop St. Shrewsbury, SY2 5HA. tel: 07817 516857.

Established 1991, we have completed a wide variety of built projects historic conservation, eco-renovation, new housing, public and educational buildings. We have a clear understanding of ecological building physics, and all our projects incorporate principles of energy efficiency the use of environmentally benign materials & products the development of local skills appropriate renewable energy technologies. We have particular experience of using UK woodland timber in all its forms. This approach produces buildings that, whether in a contemporary or historic context, are beautiful, practical and minimise negative environmental and social impact. Services a full range of architectural services, design and fabrication service for innovative timber building structures, design & site consultancy for earthen building methods. We now design our own projects to the AECB Silver & Passivhaus energy performance standards, and offer expert advice on implementation of these standards to designers and developers.


Architect / Specifier

Main business activities

  • Sustainable Architectural Design
  • Designs to AECB Silver, Passivhaus & AECB Gold En
  • Energy efficiency retrofit and refurbishment
  • Rammed Earth Consultancy
  • Small Diameter Roundwood Construction consultancy

Scope of Work

full architectural services for sustainable, low energy, aecb silver, gold and passivhaus projects


Company philosophy

The world's built environment has a pivotal role with respect to the current Ecological Crisis, as well as having the potential to inspire and improve us through both its 'crude' and 'subtle' qualities. As ecological designers we are interested in the possibilities afforded by each project to explore making a building and its environs at the level of both these qualities - we highlight for clients a sustainable hierarchy of concern within the overall design approach informed by rigorous sustainable design and construction discussions and the latest environment and building related scientific thinking. Beyond the immediate ecological emergency manifested by Climate Change, for which we have an increasingly limited window of opportunity to act, we feel the ethical dimension of design and construction activities is also fundamental to achieving all that should be expected from the art and science of designing and building. We now accept, despite setting up in 1991 to pursue a very broad green agenda in our work (largely based on local, natural materials and finding ways to integrate this imaginatively into contemporary building), that we must prioritise the energy performance and Co2 emissions of our buildings. We have committed to tightening up our design and construction practices to make sure that our green aspirations (actual performance as opposed to design intent) are not actually as problematic as mainstream constructions. If we do not take this route, our 'green' buildings simply remain a damaging (if charming) part of our common ecological problem. The industrialised nations must aim to achieve Sustainable Construction Industries within the next generation to help mitigate global warming, and the associated international economic and social turmoil. Such a change would create conditions favourable for government and business to make more ethical decisions, whether concerning UK foreign policy or local and international trade activities. The Industry must move to producing affordable, adaptable, robust and healthy buildings in order to help us adapt our lives to the remaining inevitable degree of climate change predicted. This is the context which defines Simmonds.Mills' work here in the UK.

Materials Sourcing

We have extensive experience of making imaginative use of locally sourced and under-utilised materials, particularly those that contribute to enhancing local skills and stimulating local economies.

Energy Efficiency

We are committed to working to both the AECB's and the Passivhaus Energy performance standards, and wherever possible publish projects' actual performance data on our web site.

Reducing the environmental footprint of the business

Our business is small scale, involving limited car use, and we have built two offices to the same standards we apply in all our projects - using local materials where possible and building to incorporate principles of passive solar gain and high levels of insulation. We make extensive use of email and internet based working to allow us to work between the two offices - without regular commuting. Beyond this we have not systematically assessed the overall footprint of our activities due to time and financial limitations.

AECB CarbonLite training

AECB Carbonlite Retrofit Training
Andrew Simmonds is one the Authors and Tutors of the AECB Carbonlite Retrofit Training course.

Adele Mills successfully passed the CarbonLite Retrofit training course in May 2017
The CarbonLite Retrofit Training Course is an online course on low energy building retrofit and methodology. Read More...

Simmonds.Mills Architects : Projects

Commercial offices, Durham. Rivergreen Developments

Project Date 2006
image of Commercial offices, Durham. Rivergreen Developments
6 metre high walls adjacent central circ

scope Consultancy
aims Rammed earth consultancy: architectural design and construction consultancy and in house training.
measures Worked with developers to make maximum use of material excavated on site (as part of building works) in rammed earth walls.
monitoring Successful outcome. Developers now retain in house rammed earth construction skills, and intend to carry on building in earth in their commercial development projects.

Certified Passivhaus Buildings

Project Date 2010
image of Certified Passivhaus Buildings
Centre for Disability Studies

scope Architectural Design (RIBA work stages C - L) Acting as design consultants team leader, Architectural design & detailing, site visits, building contract, building users manual, post occupancy liaison
aims PH Certified Centre for Disability Studies: new build offices and function rooms for charitable organisation. BREEAM Excellent. Complete 2010. designed for thermal comfort, excellent daylighting, passive solar, low running costs and good indoor air quality with sustainable external landscaping and additional and extensive PV generation. natural planting scheme, on site low cost surface water scheme.

Grove Cottage: first certified UK EnerPHit retrofit of a solid walled victorian house. extensively monitored and cited best practice retrofit. Hereford. Complete 2009. We have now completed several low energy retrofits, and offer our expertise increasingly in this area.

PH Certified Greenbase: offices and community facilities for Helena Partnership (housing association), St. Helens. Designed for high thermal comfort, good indoor air quality, low running costs. Thorough community consultation process, brief called for a building to inspire the community. External landscaping based on edible gardens theme, and appropriate planting for different microclimates (with an eye on climate change related issues such as drought and heatwaves). Complete 2011
measures In a break with some of our earlier work based on innovative natural materials such as structural earth walls and other clay or lime based products, roundwood timber etc, these projects use mainly conventional materials and methods. The retrofit project carefully uses natural materials where technical requirements justify them. The projects take conventional building materials and use them sparingly in an efficient manner, avoiding conventional foundations for example, in order to reduce embodied energy overall and to allow SME builders to affordably achieve excellent levels of airtightness and thermal performance. Further details of specific environmental measures for each project (reuse of timber/tiles etc, FSC timber, sheeps wool insulation, breathable membranes, surface water swales, hemp lime blocks, low VOC paints etc) can be found on our project pages via
monitoring We have monitored 2 of these buildings and regularly share the results via our website, public presentations and

New Low Energy House, Oxon

Project Date 2006
image of New Low Energy House, Oxon
view out first floor

scope Architectural Design / Contract Management
aims Aiming for low levels of domestic related CO2 emissions and use of locally sourced, low impact building materials.
measures High levels of insulation and design for reduced thermal bridging via building fabric, low air leakage, use of passive solar gain and solar thermal panels. Locally grown construction timber used, FSC accredited timber windows. Air pressure tested pre and post completion. Wood stove for amenity.
monitoring see, Projects section for full details: currently air tightness results. Utility bills showing whole house emissions will be shared when available.
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