An Teach Glas

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High Performance Zero Carbon Passive House

Proposed House Design

Design Proposal

The layout of the site is rationalized by the existing boundaries. The field beside the road is kept intact and dedicated to the entrance and parking area for the house. It will also contain a shed for storage of timber and garden accessories. The layout is inspired by traditional farmyards, which are a cluster of buildings around a functional space.

The house is then located on the south side of an existing field boundary and mature trees. These trees will add to the entrance sequence to the house and provide screening from the road. The main entrance door to the house is located in an existing gap between these trees thereby its location being emphasised.

Proposed Layout

The concept behind the house is based on a few interconnected ideas:
  1. A simple conventional elevation faces the road, giving a modest appearance to the house.
  2. The house has a much more developed elevation facing the garden, to allow the living in the house to expand into the garden. The garden also is south facing, so this elevation will be much more transparent.
  3. Large amounts of Glass facing south to provide ample passive heat gains.
  4. The main body of the house is alined with the line of trees that divides the first part of the site. The side facing the garden is alined to face directly south.
  5. The side of the house that faces the garden/south has a more jagged appearance, thereby increasing the southern surface area of the house and connecting the house more with the garden.
  6. Conceptually the design can be imagined as a “conventional house” where the life (the living of the owners) has expanded out of the house towards the garden and sun light resulting in a more transparent and articulated southern facade to the building.

Sketch Proposal North Elevation

Sketch Proposal South Elevation

Traditional Style with Contemporary Expansion:

The client requested a design that looks traditional in nature so the public side of the building has a traditional farm styling to it. But the problem with traditional buildings is they were built at a time that had very different building materials and lifestyles. Traditional buildings do not naturally favor modern energy efficient building techniques, for example:

  • Deep plans have a better volume to surface ratio.
  • Large amounts of southern glazing.
  • Glazed doors for access to the outdoors and gardens.
  • Solar shading to avoid overheating in summer.

The solution has been to make the rear of the house more expressive in style so that the features of modern living and materials can be incorporated into the design.

Sustainable Design:

The design of the house is laid out to benefit from passive solar gains, in fact the house is designed to meet passive house standards, that is to say that it will not need a central heating system. Designing to passive house standards has numerous benefits:

  1. It reduces energy consumption to the absolute minimum, which saves money.
  2. By consuming less energy will help protect the environment.
  3. It makes a much more conformable and pleasant house to be in, because the temperature in the house is always warm and does not depend on having the heating system turned on.
  4. Generally the house is full of sunlight, bright and airy.
  5. Very high indoor air quality is ensured through the use of a Heat Recovery Ventilation system.

The form of the house is also designed to enhance passive solar gains. The north facade has less indentation to reduce surface area and heat loss; on the other hand the south facade is much more jagged to increase its surface are and the amount of sunshine it recieves.

Building Layout:

The layout of the house has the living spaces to the south where they will benefit from the solar gains and enhanced daylight. On the north side are located the service rooms, bathrooms, utility and entry hallway. These rooms are more suited to the north side because they require a lower working temperature and less sunlight. The hallway and stairs are centrally located to allow easy access to all rooms and reduce the amount given over to circulation space. Above the stairs and central hallway is a roof light to bring natural daylight into the centre of the house. The utility is located on the east side of the house where it will be close to the garden and the study is located near the entrance where it can be accessed directly from the front door or even used as a study or home office. Having the living room, dining room and sitting room on the south gives them easy access to the garden, making a connection between indoors and outdoors and increasing the usable area of the house.

* Thanks to Miles Sampson Architects for compiling all of the above information.

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