Anna-Lisa Pollock, Associate at Penoyre & Prasad, comments on the importance of learning throughout your career to maintain your professional expertise in the RIBA article, “The learning experiences that keep you sharp.”

Adding a specialist qualification

“Before my course I thought it was a dark art,” confesses Anna-Lisa Pollock of Penoyre & Prasad. She is referring to the Passivhaus designer course that she recently undertook. Having passed the exam, she is now an officially accredited Passivhaus designer.

“The main thing I realised is that Passivhaus is all about quality onsite, and the robustness of your construction detailing. It all comes down to designing to a really high standard, with excellent detailing.”

“Passive design is about the building doing the job, not the technology. Even if you were not going to design Passivhaus buildings, the course would be well worth doing: ultimately it is about rigorous quality.

Pollock has been working on a Passivhaus retrofit project since completing the course. She believes that this expertise gives architects an extra edge, especially for public sector work: this is a valuable skill for a practice to have in house.

Quite apart from the in depth passive building design skills an architect can then deploy, Pollock points to the increasing opportunities for consultancy work in sustainable building that are out there.

“Clients need to understand how to achieve their ambitions. But even beyond that, the sustainability imperative will trickle down into standard domestic projects too.”

Read the full article here.