Low energy home nears completion

This low energy A-rated tailor made home is to be completed by the end of August.

The house is a combination of the best of both new and traditional construction technologies. The super-insulated, airtight timber framed structure has been precision-made off site. This hi-tech structure has then been wrapped in the traditional materials of brick and timber. The brick was chosen to compliment the iroko hardwood windows, doors and panels.

Key to the design was the client’s requirement for a new house to be energy efficient, cheap to run, maximize views and to connect with the garden. The positioning, form, layout and detail of the house result from these requirements. The design of the house was guided by best principles of sustainable design. The site runs on a perfect east west axis, and the house is orientated along this axis and kept tight to the north boundary to open up the south facade of the house. The south façade has then been composed using large full-height triple-glazed windows and sliding screens which act as a solar collector and maximize the solar gain which is then stored in the polished concrete floor and released slowly through the rest of the day and night. The east and west façades each have a single large opening at ground level which allows the house to avail of the morning and evening sunlight and to connect with the garden. The north façade, which gets little daylight, has smaller functional openings to minimize the potential for heat loss. The east, west and north façades have thick walls which are exceptionally thermally efficient. The upper floor of the house is set back along is north façade to avoid over shadowing of the neighbour to the north.

Internally the layout is generated in response to the path of sun through the day. On the lower level, the kitchen, dining and living spaces are to the east, south and west. By opening up the large sliding glazed screens, each space can connect and extend out into the garden. The service areas of utility, plant, back door, wc are arranged along the north side of the house and act as a thermal buffer. On the smaller upper level, the bedrooms are to the east, south and west and the bathrooms are to the north. A double height circulation hall connects the levels and encourages natural stack effect ventilation to cool the house. This space is top lit with a continuous roof-light which allows daylight to illuminate the hall. To ensure sustainable running of the house solar panels have been installed to collect energy for the domestic hot water and a heat recovery ventilation system is used to recycle heat generated within the house.

We are delighted with the project and to be able to help the client to realize his dream home. It is a low energy A-rated sustainable home which is bright, beautifully crafted, warm and comfortable. It makes good use of the site, connects with the garden and avails of the great views.

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