M ato Design Associates are pleased to announce the completion of a stunning bespoke detached self-contained studio with green roof, skylight and underfloor heating at the rear of a property in the Central Conservation Area of Cambridge.

Bedford based Architectural, Town Planning and Interior Design Consultants, Mato Design Associates have recently completed a project for a client in Cambridge that wanted to make use of an existing garage and utilise the space to create a self-contained studio. We received this brief in October 2018 and the project completed in May 2019. The biggest hurdle was to get planning permission from the local planning authority as the property is situated in a conservation area surrounded by buildings of special architecture. The other consideration that Mato Design Associates had to make was to look at the surrounding landscape and try to incorporate this into the proposed design. We have been looking at better ways to improve our designs looking to promote more eco-friendly and environmentally compliant designs and also thinking of new ways to enhance the surrounding landscape. This project seemed to have all the elements which would drive us to towards coming up with a concept that is in line with our new direction. This resulted in proposing a studio space with a green roof.

As an architect in Bedford, the client welcomed this concept, not only because of how well it would fit in with the surrounding landscape, but also by realising some of its benefits:

Visual Value – An obvious and significant benefit of a green roof is the potentially attractive view offered to overlooking buildings. This is of great importance in an area such as Cambridge, where it’s important to consider the local architecture and the large green areas.

Air Quality – Vegetation has a large surface area and is able to filter out fine air-borne particles. Studies have shown that 1 sq.m. of grass can remove 0.2 kg of airborne particles per year. Foliage can also absorb significant amounts gaseous pollutants lodging the material in their tissue.

Water Management – In urban areas, man-made hard surfaces (roads, paving, roofs, etc.) are impermeable and drainage schemes for these surfaces are devised to remove rainwater from them as fast and efficiently as possible. Green roofs slow this process down by reducing the total run-off and by spreading the residual run-off over a longer period, which can dramatically influence a city’s infrastructure and maintenance costs.

Building Insulation & Energy Efficiency – One of the most important tangible benefits that green roofs offer the private sector is reduced maintenance and cooling costs due to increased building insulation and energy efficiency.

Increased Roof Life – Studies have demonstrated that green roofs, when properly constructed, can extend the life of a roof. Degradation by ultraviolet light and the constant expansion and contraction caused by daily extremes of temperature are the prime cause of the disintegration, cracking, delamination and splitting of roofing materials. Green roofs insulate the materials from ultraviolet light and reduce the thermal extremes, thus prolonging roof life.

As a locally based Bedfordshire company, our clients find it wise to use our knowledge of the local authorities, that is why as an architect in Bedford we are able to take on these projects.

A Green Roof is made with moss species and sedum plants, a low growing succulent that absorbs and holds water in its leaves therefore is low maintenance and requires only a thin layer of soil within the layers of the roof make up. Its aesthetic appeal compliments the natural landscape and attracts wildlife and provides natural insulation.

We were delighted when our planning submission was approved. The ornamental oak frame and oak cladding used for the new structure complements the Green Roof, light bricks with a contrasting dark bottom edging, skylights and bespoke sliding doors finished off the exterior look. The interior layout houses an office, sewing studio and storage. We really exceeded our and the customer expectations with the end result and we are looking forward to more exciting and innovative project in the near future.

“I am delighted to inform you that the work is now complete, and we are very pleased with the result. Somehow you managed to meet all of our specifications and you can be proud of your effort and achievement.”

Mato Design Media

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