Low Energy Family Home,
This project involved a replacement home and detached garage. The owners’ detached bungalow, built in the 1970’s, was very cold and damp. The main focus for the project was to provide the opportunity to maximise comfort in a highly insulated, low energy, sustainable home.
The proposed materials included corrugated black fiber cement cladding and a combination of black stained and unfinished timber cladding that would be allowed to silver.
This limited palette of materials was chosen as a contemporary reflection of a rural, farming aesthetic, to create a recessive and simple building that would blend with its edge of Dartmoor location.
A sedum roof, containing species suitable and appropriate for the local environment, would further soften the appearance of the home, and improve biodiversity and longevity of the waterproofing layer.
Ground floor plan
First floor plan
The clients wished to investigate the application of an energy standard and include renewable technologies to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, as well as reduce their annual energy bills. Hence the home was designed to Passivhaus principles. A series of massing studies and building orientations were considered prior to agreeing the final design. The orientation was chosen to maximise solar gain as part of the low energy design principles.
The home was designed with the potential to incorporate air source heat pump technology to provide renewable heating and domestic hot water, whilst other features such as rainwater harvesting, and a PV array were also reviewed for inclusion.
This proposed new home provided a far better solution to reducing ongoing energy consumption than upgrading the existing bungalow, when the costs and benefits were fully weighed-up. This was proven to be a more sustainable long-term solution than refurbishment, even after the embodied energy was considered.
“The approach we took on this project proved that by using a combination of first principles design thinking and common sense, the results could be the creation of a modern, economical, and contextually sympathetic home for contemporary living.”
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