I have 30 years experience making, building, designing and shaping the profession of architecture.
In architectural practice I have worked as an employee, a sole practitioner, a partner, a freelancer and as the director of my own company. During this time I have mentored many young architects in the transition from academia to practice.
My built projects have won awards, including an RIBA award. My work has been published and I have been featured on TV in the UK and North America.
I have worked internationally as a construction volunteer, including time in Canada building timber framed homes with the indigenous people of Northern Ontario.
I have self-built the house for my own family which has been published, won a Civic Society Award, and is the case study project for my academic research paper.
I have studied and taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, where one of my students won the RIBA President’s Medal.
I have taught for 15 years in the School of Architecture and Cities, University of Westminster, where I interview school leavers interested in studying architecture, Part 3 students in their final stage of architectural education and have taught at every stage in-between.
As part of The Technical Studies team I have developed the curriculum including initiatives for students to monitor live building sites and to implement sustainable design principles. My work with students has been presented to the Architect’s Climate Action Network (ACAN).
I am passionate about architectural education, but am open to the idea that this may not lead to being a practicing chartered architect.
I am passionate about building and architecture, but no longer as a practicing architect myself- in the conventional sense- I now operate in the field that exists between practice and academia, designing, building and making.
Submission for the REF 2020:
Strategies for Upgrading 1970s Housing:
The project is being used collaboratively as part of an student MSc Dissertation Project (MSc Architecture & Environmental Design University of Westminster).
This design for the environmental upgrade and remodelling of a suburban house was developed as an active and monitored research project. It has wide application for environmentally-conscious retrofits of a common building type: late-1960s to 1970s private developer housing built right across the UK. This typology constitutes more than 7% of the UK’s residential stock – some 1.7 million detached homes – and was normally built with large areas of single-glazing and cavity walls, now well below environmental standards. The research makes a detailed analysis of the existing and potential design and environmental qualities of the housing type to explore how these could be optimised. This included a two-year study of the family’s occupation patterns. Batty took a ‘lifetime design’ approach to minimise demolition and rebuilding, enhancing positive qualities of the era’s housing while promoting a use-model based on shifting patterns of family occupation through the day and night. Drawing on aspects of his other published design projects, Batty also developed a ‘tea cosy’ external upgrade approach that minimised disruption and costs due to client relocation. The result radically reduces energy consumption (an estimated 61 per cent of annual load for space heating). Monitoring continues using data loggers with an identical, unimproved house adjacent as a control. The research generated through this project thus forms an active model with widespread applicability for homeowners, architects, local authorities and developers. In a parallel research strand, the project explored methods to improve contract management for practitioners. Using a traditional contract, Batty developed a model that effectively does away with the issue of multiple revised drawings, in favour of daily meetings where revisions are agreed and signed on site, providing a useful administration model that reduces wasted work and conflict. It is particularly applicable for small practices and sole practitioners working on local projects.