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A photo of a new build passivhaus with buff brick and black timber cladding

Salisbury Passive House

Designing Your Dream Sustainable Home

The look, feel and impact on people and the planet matters to us when designing your dream home. Whether you have grand designs for a new Passivhaus, or are looking to self build a low-cost eco home, at Footprint Architects we work with you through every step to create a bespoke, sustainable house design that meets your needs and aspirations.

Eco Homes
Sustainable architects

Our green architects are committed to developing homes that are environmentally friendly and respond positively to the climate emergency and cost of living crisis. We believe all new homes should be low energy, low carbon, cheap to run and built using local, sustainable materials. Environmentally sustainable house design is good for the planet, your health, and your wallet.

A Team photo of Footprint Architects sitting and standing around a wooden table in a wooden building

Footprint Architects are striving to become a carbon zero architecture firm, offsetting our carbon footprint through various initiatives, and committing to planting 20 trees for every new home that we build.

A render of new build eco house in dorset
Where we work

Although our architecture firm is based in Bournemouth, we can help to design and plan your new eco friendly home throughout the South of England, including Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Surrey and London.

- 5 Simple Steps to Designing Your Eco Home

5 Simple Steps to Designing Your Dream Eco Home

1. Fabric First

Footprint Architects adopt a fabric-first approach to all new homes that we design. Enhancing the thermal envelope and airtightness is a simple but highly effective way to reduce energy consumption.

  • High levels of insulation in the walls, floors and roof to keep the heat in

  • Maximising airtightness to reduce cold draughts

  • Positioning windows to maximise heating from the sun in the winter

  • Using thermal mass to keep homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter

  • Orienting homes to maximise shading


This low-tech approach ensures that the buildings we create are easy to use, have low running costs, are simple to maintain, and are healthy environments to live in.

A new build Passivhaus project with buff bricks and black timber cladding
2. Passivhaus

What is Passivhaus?


Passivhaus, or Passive House, is a highly effective energy and comfort standard for sustainable house design. Passivhaus standard buildings use lots of insulation, fresh air, natural daylight and the sun to create high performing homes that maintain a constant temperature, all year round.


It’s an exciting alternative to regular heating. Instead of standard, inefficient boilers and radiators, a passive house building is fitted with high levels of insulation and a simple, low energy ventilation system, meaning you can avoid heating even in the depths of winter!


At the start of a project we carefully analyse your site, taking full advantage of the site’s natural features when we design your dream home. We work closely with expert energy assessors to provide virtual modelling of your new eco house design, enabling us optimise the building specification and achieve Passivhaus standard certification. Our approach means that a passive house design can create amazing buildings, that are low energy and cheap to run.


The benefits are:

  • A large reduction in energy and carbon usage

  • Extremely low energy bills

  • Airtight, draught free homes - around 20 times more airtight than standard!

  • A cleaner, healthier environment with improved air quality

3. Sustainable Materials

At Footprint Architects we like to select sustainable, locally sourced building materials that look beautiful and have low embodied carbon. We prefer to select products that are easy to maintain, last a life time and can be recycled in the future. In recent projects we have:

  • Used low carbon concrete that replaces 80% of the cement with waste by-products from other industries

  • Re-used 52 tonnes of hardwood to create sustainable cladding

  • Used 100% recycled plastics that are 100% recyclable to create imaginative interiors

A close up photo of recycled wood cladding
Exterior view of an eco house with black, charred timber cladding.
4. Renewable Energy

Installing sources of renewable energy to your home, such as solar PV panels, solar thermal hot water or air source heat pumps are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save on bills. At Footprint Architects we advocate the inclusion of renewable energy sources to all new modern eco homes that we design.

5. Re-use

The idea is simple, demolish as little as possible and re-use the existing structure to reduce carbon emissions. Retrofitting typically involves a significant improvement in the thermal performance of the existing building fabric to create a warm and comfortable home.


At Footprint Architects we use our expertise to carefully and sensitively design relevant energy efficiency improvements to existing properties, making them fit for modern living whilst reducing energy consumption.


Can you upgrade and an existing home to Passivhaus standards?

Yes, you can retrofit older properties so that they function along the same passive house principles, although it’s not usually possible to reach the same levels of insulation as a new build, significant energy saving of between 75 and 90% are possible.


The Passivhaus Institute does have a separate certification that recognises appropriate retrofitting, this is known as EnerPhit ‘Quality-Approved Energy Retrofit with Passive House Components.’

A photo of an award winning heritage extension project

Our Sustainable Homes

- Our Sustainable Homes

Our Design Guides

Looking to design your own sustainable home or eco friendly self build?

Get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss the first steps with you.
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