“Architects require high quality, impartial information to understand when and where it is best to specify different technologies, and how to successfully incorporate them into a building. They do not require a sales talk.”

All CPDs delivered by ech2o take this statement as their starting point. They highlight the disadvantages as well as the advantages of the sustainable systems and technologies available on the UK market to enable architects to specify the solutions that are most suitable for their clients. Case studies are used to demonstrate both good and bad practice, and all building types are covered, including existing buildings as well as new build.

Cath draws on her vast knowledge of sustainable services and systems (formed from a background of 17 years experience in the conventional plumbing industry and 16 years in environmental building) to impart independent, relevant and in-depth advice. She is an experienced workshop leader, her seminars are interactive and she regularly delivers CPD events for architects and other built environment professionals across the UK.

CPD presentations from ech2o are informed, current, and emphasise where best to incorporate any particular sustainable solution or strategy, whether that be commercial or domestic, at single building or whole site level, in new build or refurbishment projects. We use case studies to demonstrate good practice, always emphasise the importance of carbon literate decisions, and highlight common faults during the design and specification stage so that your organisation will not make the same mistakes. And, because we are not selling a product, we are free to highlight disadvantages as well as advantages of the technologies and systems described.

CPDs are tailored to suit. So if your practice only designs commercial buildings and schools we won’t waste your time talking about domestic issues; and if you are a housing association then we won’t talk about solutions for offices. Most of our CPDs are 1 or 1.5 hours in length so can fit into a lunchtime slot, but we can run them at any time you wish. We can also provide bespoke CPDs if you require. CPD costs start from £150.

We also offer interactive training sessions that focus on how an individual’s change in behaviour impacts on their personal carbon footprint both at home and in the office. These workshops, coupled with technological solutions, will result in a significant reduction in an organisation’s CO2 emissions.



‘Cath and the ech2o team have delivered a number of high quality training seminars and workshops to members across the South and South East region over the last 2 years. The training is always extremely professional and well received. Cath has a wealth of expert technical knowledge which architects find very comprehensive and invaluable.’

Adam Turner, Events Coordinator, RIBA South/South East


‘Thank you so much for coming to Cambridge last week and presenting your seminar. The feedback was excellent …So thank you for sparing the time and sharing your vast knowledge of the subject. We would very much like to see you again next year.’

Jayne Ransom, RIBA, Cambridge


‘Excellent coverage of the subject’

Andrew Catto, Architect


‘Informed recommendations and good to see some myths debunked’

Frances Grant, Architect


Excellent background information about water. Various ways with water in a retrofit covered beautifully. I didn’t learn this on the Retrofit Coordinator course. Now well armed to advice clients.

Sarah Eskay, Architect


ech2o offers the following CPDs:

This workshop provides an overview to the BREEAM assessment system looking at the core headings of energy, transport, water, materials, pollution and health and well being. It identifies quick wins and the best solutions from a whole life-cycle analysis using actual case studies. The workshop also identifies how early use of a BREEAM assessor, careful attention to management of the whole build process, and a building performance assessment after handover, will significantly help to ensure a sustainable building.

Our carbon-rationing seminar is an example of a workshop that addresses global issues whilst providing solutions at a national and personal level. It is especially popular with student groups and Housing Associations as an aid to enhancing carbon literacy. Participants learn what is required to live within their global share of carbon emissions, understand what happened at Copenhagen, learn how the contraction and convergence model can reduce global CO2 levels.

For any organisation to successfully reduce its overall carbon footprint an understanding of the whole life impact of different sustainable solutions, including maintenance and running costs of different technologies, is vitally important. Using actual case studies this workshop will cover both sustainable technologies that can be easily retrofitted into a building, and sustainable solutions to transport and procurement that can be incorporated into company policy.  It also looks at the effect behaviour change (or behaviour inertia) from staff or tenants will have on future CO2 levels.

Green roofs provide bio diversity, keep buildings cool in summer, play an important role in reducing run off from roof surfaces and can mitigate against the heat island effect of major cities.  They are suitable for retrofit as well as new build, for domestic premises (especially blocks of flats) as well as commercial buildings. Learn about the different types of green roof and the advantages of each, their role in a SUDS solution to stormwater management, how to integrate with other sustainable solutions such as rainwater harvesting and PVs, cost and maintenance issues.

Cath is co-author of CIBSE’s Guide to Green Roofs, a document that has been widely praised as being a first class and informative read, and has been involved in several projects where green roofs were specified.

This seminar introduces the concept of greywater recycling, identifies the opportunities of this technology and highlights the pitfalls to be aware of. It looks at all the systems currently available on the UK market, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different types of system and their varying costs, and states where they should be installed to ensure optimum performance. This workshop can be easily combined with the rainwater harvesting workshop.

Focussing on one particular case study (a six bedroom house in the countryside), Cath talks you through the steps that were needed to ensure that an actual sustainable water strategy was adopted for the dwelling as opposed to the tick box exercise required by the Code for Sustainable Homes. This CPD is therefore an introduction to the main issues around sustainable water use in the UK covering all the measures that can be implemented including water efficient appliances, rainwater, greywater and SuDS. The information disseminated is equally relevant to smaller dwellings, to small commercial or educational buildings, whether existing or new build.

Low Carbon technologies have the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a building if specified where appropriate. This CPD provides an overview of all suitable building integrated renewables that produce electricity or heat buildings and water. The technologies covered are: PhotoVoltaics, wind generation, hydro, CHP, solar thermal, wood pellet and wood chip boilers, heat pumps and condensing boilers. Delegates will understand how these technologies work and the design and installation issues for retrofit as well as new build. Heating system design, fuel choice and efficient controls are also covered as is government policy to support renewable and the future of the UK’s energy mix.

One of your clients wants solar thermal and asks whether it works with a combi boiler whilst another wants “an enhanced bathing experience” and wonders if a pumped shower or an electric shower is more sustainable. A client in a small office needs to upgrade their gas boiler and wants to know whether they should install a heat pump instead of a condensing boiler.

Architects are increasingly required to ensure the most sustainable design choices for their clients, and to successfully integrate new technology into existing plumbing systems. This CPD is designed to answer such queries and to enable architects to work more effectively with plumbers and M&E engineers on smaller projects. Cath will present an overview of the main types of plumbing and heating systems in domestic and small commercial situations, and will explain how to successfully integrate the core sustainable solutions into conventional plumbing systems using relevant case studies and interactive group work.

Harvesting rainwater will reduce potable water demand and can reduce localised flooding incidents. For this reason it is recognised as part of source control within a SUDS solution for any development and is a core part, combined with water efficiency, of a sustainable water strategy.

This seminar introduces the concept of rainwater harvesting, identifies the opportunities and highlights the pitfalls to be aware of when specifying this type of technology. The seminar covers the different system types available in the UK, best practice in design, how to ensure the chosen system conforms to relevant legislation, and risk assessments of any site; this ensures that you provide your client with the optimum solution for their development. Participants determine, using actual case studies, whether rainwater would be the best solution for a particular situation, as well as learning simple sizing techniques and payback calculations.

Solar thermal systems for hot water heating are the simplest and most cost effective way to meet both the “Merton Rule” (10% renewables on developments of more than 10 dwellings or 1000m2 commercial space) and Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, as well as being easy to retrofit as part of any sustainable refurbishment.

The presentation covers standard solar thermal systems, drainback systems, flat plate collectors vs. evacuated tubes, design issues and payback, and ensures that designers can specify the most efficient and safest system for any situation. As solar thermal for space heating is possible (just) in the UK, the workshop will also briefly cover the pros and cons of this use of solar energy, and how best to implement it.

Both these technologies use the sun’s energy to provide a source of sustainable power, are easy to retrofit (either as part of a sustainable refurbishment or to install in new buildings), and provide an income for the building occupiers. The presentation covers the main types of solar thermal and PV systems on the market and considers design, installation and maintenance issues to ensure that architects can specify the most efficient solution for any situation and that the systems perform at their optimum. It also looks at Govt support from the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-in Tariff to demonstrate payback periods.

Providing SUDS (sustainable drainage systems) to address the problems of stormwater run off from sites is now required on an increasing number of new developments, especially since the implementation of PPS 25.  SUDS provide biodiversity as well as reducing the impact of stormwater on the local environment through a variety of different design solutions.

This workshop looks at best practice in SUDS using examples from the UK and abroad and covers source solutions such as green roofs and permeable paving, as well as conveyance and infiltration devices such as swales, detention basins and balancing ponds. Solutions to the problems of land grab and maintenance of SUDS are provided as well as indicative costs of implementation.

This CPD is an introduction to the main issues around sustainable water use in the UK concentrating on the environmental pressures to reduce demand and how to do so most effectively. The seminar covers the measures that building professionals can use to reduce water demand in buildings, whether commercial, public or domestic, new build or existing. Water efficient appliances are covered in depth, and the concepts of rainwater and greywater as possible alternative sources to using potable water are introduced. The costs and payback of different solutions are stated and the CPD ensures that delegates understand the carbon loads of different types of water.

The environmental problem of stormwater run off and the solution of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) is also covered briefly.

Part G of the Building Regulations is being updated in April 2010. For the first time ever the Regulations will address water efficiency with a maximum allowable amount of 125 litres of wholesome water per person per day in dwellings. But this is not the only change. The document has increased in size from 14 to 43 pages and also covers cold water supply, hot water supply and systems, sanitary conveniences and washing facilities, bathrooms, and kitchen and food preparation areas.

This workshop will highlight the important changes to Part G so that your architectural practice is fully up to speed with the legal requirements. By the end of the CPD delegates will be able to:

  • Identify when the 125 litres calculation needs to be submitted to Building Control, and the role that alternative sources of water such as rainwater, greywater or borehole water play.
  • Successfully use the “Water Efficiency Calculator for New Dwellings” (after having worked through an actual example using a real case study).
  • Understand the requirement for a risk assessment for water from non-wholesome sources.
  • Know the requirement to ensure maintenance of sanitary appliances can be successfully carried out.
  • State how to comply with the regulation that bath water does not exceed 48oC whilst ensuring that legionella proliferation does not occur.
  • Specify a compost toilet that conforms to the regulations, and understand which models don’t.
  • Identify the organisations that manage the competent person’s self-certification scheme.