Who are we?
mna is an emerging architectural practice founded by Magda Nowotny. With over a decade of experience designing residential projects of all sizes and through all stages, Magda has delivered a wide range of outstanding projects. She relishes the challenge of working with new and existing buildings.
mna's goal is to consistently deliver best-in-class design through sustainable architecture. Using leading-edge practices, we will minimise the total impact of your project on the environment in the most cost-effective way. We strive to delight our clients by commissioning and designing buildings that positively impact the world around us.
Why do we focus on sustainabiliy?
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Buildings and construction account for nearly 45% of the UK's total carbon emission, with 27% from domestic buildings and 18% from non-domestic buildings. Out of the 28 million homes in the UK, over 62% are rated below the minimum energy-efficient standard, leading to a significant negative impact on the environment as well as the wellbeing of its occupants.
By integrating sustainable design practices and creating 'healthy buildings', we can vastly increase building users' satisfaction and reduce carbon emissions, both in construction and operation. Studies worldwide have shown that 'green buildings' can reduce carbon emissions by 60%, compared to traditional designs. Best-in-class sustainably designed buildings reach net-zero carbon emissions, through the whole lifecycle of a building.
This doesn't just impact the environment - it also can have a major impact on you.
The UK has set in law a target to bring its total greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 – one of the most ambitious targets in the world. As part of the journey to 2050, the UK government have committed to introducing the Future Homes Standard by 2025, that will significantly raise the bar on energy efficiency standards and requirements for new builds, with a 70 to 80 % reduction in carbon emissions compared to today's standards.
With that in mind, looking at the financial and economic implications, energy-efficient homes will become a key priority for buyers, increasing demand and prices for sustainable homes. A government report from 2013 states that high levels of energy efficiency add an average of 14% to a house’s value. By 2025 these rates could significantly increase as more new builds will achieve the highest standards. In contrast, lower energy-efficient homes will depreciate. Investing in a high energy efficient building today can bring higher returns in the future.
One of the most common misconceptions about sustainable design is upfront higher costs. However, implementing sustainable design methods from the start of the project and throughout doesn't have to cost the project more, and can even cost less. Sustainable design has clear and measurable economic benefits for both developers and households. These can be short term benefits like low waste and time reduction during construction, and long term benefits that can be measured by lower-cost utility bills, potentially even reducing to zero. Furthermore, high energy-efficient buildings can generate an income from exporting energy back to the National Grid with the help of the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme.
In a fast-changing environment, we need to fit today's design with tomorrow's needs and generate mutual benefits and shared value for both humans and nature at the same time. mna support our clients through all of the project stages and design to achieve the highest quality standards based on the user's values, needs and budget.
We achieve this by integrating passive and active design to make the best use of a building's location, sun orientation, ventilation and light; we encourage the usage of renewable energy and rainwater management systems to harvest natural resources (energy and water) while focusing on the sustainability of materials and the systems themself. We look at the full life cycle of the proposed building, and we try to mitigate any foreseeable risk.
We believe this process considers the broader implications of the project on the environmental, social and economic aspects while delivering the best outcomes.
Refurbishment and extensions