As well as taking the lead in most of our projects, and managing the communication and relationships within a team, vHH is respected for the depth and breadth of our construction knowledge.
We were early adopters of BIM for digitally creating and managing project information, and ensuring effective coordination. Project-specific BIM Execution Plans established with the other team members define the process on each.
Construction programmes can only be kept on track, or even shortened, if we focus on ease of buildability. By keeping this in mind we ensure maximum efficiency, which inevitably leads to competitive tenders and ensures the quality of the final construction.
Climate change is the single biggest issue that our society needs to address, as soon as possible and particularly in buildings. Our convictions led to vHH delivering our first building designed to be carbon-neutral in operation in 2010, the RSPB Rainham Marshes. More recently we have delivered our first passivhaus building for St Benedict’s school. The passivhaus methodology minimises actual energy use, and we now apply its principles to all projects, whether new build or refurbishment.
Sustainability is prioritised at every stage of the design process, working closely with engineers to accurately predict performance and ensure passive measures are integrated from the outset. We endeavour to work at performance levels well in excess of the statutory minimum, for instance using the LETI Climate Emergency Design Guide design criteria. To make sure that occupants get the most out of their building we produce clear user guides.
Careful design and specification is used to reduce embodied C02, from engineered timbers to super high performing insulations. Where possible we use analysis of embodied C02 to inform our selection of materials and techniques.
Some of our most interesting projects have involved breathing new life into existing buildings, re-using, re-purposing or re-ordering them. This includes working on significant listed buildings, as we have done at Chatham Historic Dockyard and Leicester Cathedral. We have also built new buildings within historic sites, including at Clovelly in Devon and for the National Trust at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk.