All of our Passivhaus designers and consultants initially trained as building services engineers. We bring a broad understanding of how the whole building comes together, with an engineer's approach to design and analysis.

We have access to a wealth of experience in passive building design, and to the powerful tools used by our building physicists. So we're able to quickly define the most appropriate building and services solution and guide it though to successful delivery.

Our Building Physicists also provide thermal bridge modelling, as required.

Katie Clemence


Senior Engineer

I like to think of services engineering as bringing a building to life. I start with an empty shell and turn it into a living, breathing place where people feel comfortable.

It’s important to consider not just how building services can be designed, but also how they will be installed, maintained, tested and understood by the end users. I take a logical approach to the designs I develop so that they can be built and set up with no fuss, and used just as easily. This is all integral to a design being truly sustainable in practice.

I enjoy building relationships with design team and clients - from initial briefing to final completion - so that I can help turn their abstract ideas into an elegant design. A strong technical understanding is important, but it becomes truly valuable when combined with clear communication and enthusiasm for a project. I always keep the overall project goals, deadlines and constraints in mind to help ensure my projects are delivered successfully in the client's eyes.

My experience in running projects on site has given me an in-depth understanding of how building systems come together. I have worked on projects of many types including offices, schools, theatres, housing, and a Passivhaus development. The latter project in particular has taught me to appreciate the value of good detailing and design rigour.

Ali Shaw

BSc (Arch), BSc (Physics)

Senior Engineer

A demanding brief may lead to a complex system, but there’s no need to make it complicated.

As a designer, I’m looking to minimise mechanical and electrical engineering in a project. It’s an editing process. An ideal services strategy is one where there’s nothing left to take away. The systems that remain are necessary, simple to use and straightforward to maintain.

The way to achieve this is early involvement in the design process – having influence on the building’s form, orientation, façade and spatial organisation. From the outset, I aim to develop an elegant design; one that responds to the client’s requirements and the architect’s aspirations.

Buildings are part of our shared cultural heritage, experienced by everyone who sees them, whether they use them or not. I believe they should be designed to last. And I believe that the services should be appropriate and so well-integrated that they work well now and into an unknown future.

Sophia Barker



I find it satisfying when I am able to create simple, elegant, low-energy designs that provide a comfortable building for people to enjoy.

The sustainability aspect of our work is what drives me.  The fact that the buildings we build today will be there for the generations to come means that the design needs to be energy efficient and robust. 

I enjoy working to design constraints and finding ways of making things work, keeping both the architect and client happy. I’ve had the privilege of working on some great projects in my career with Max Fordham since joining as a graduate in 2013.

I have worked on many residential and visitor buildings, applying the principles of low energy design that delivers to the ambitions of the brief.

These projects not only cover new-builds but also many refurbishments of existing and listed buildings, which require an investigative mind to work within the constraints of the existing site and infrastructure. My experience in running projects on site has given me an in-depth understanding of how building systems come together.

I am also a certified Passivhaus designer.

Gwilym Still


Principal Engineer

I enjoy helping to deliver robust, low-energy designs that work and are sensitive to the building’s architecture, whether adapting an existing building, or developing a new one.

Essentially, it’s about appropriate design to meet the brief. I can deliver Passivhaus graduate accommodation for a Cambridge College, low-energy office buildings for owner-occupiers, and very simple, grassroots designs as part of Max Fordham’s Developing Countries Group.

This comes from experience following projects through all stages of the construction process. I enjoy the continuity that this brings, especially in aftercare where we can learn from our designs in action, seeing how operation impacts energy consumption and environmental conditions.

Throughout the design process I help optimise the building design using building physics and other modelling software, and then play an active role in site delivery and commissioning. With experience ranging from heating and water systems through to lighting and controls, I’m well-versed in delivering low-energy environmental design.

I am also a Certified Passivhaus Consultant.