Sussex based Passivhaus design with sustainability to the fore…
Ecotecture were approached by clients who had bought an old, inappropriately extended and energy hungry building located within the Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They wanted to design a more dynamic and contemporary solution.
Using the existing planning permission and employing the services of DMH Stallard Planning Consultants, a comprehensive case for this sensitive building in the Sussex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was approved at Committee at the beginning of 2009.
The core idea behind the building design was pushing the envelope whilst maintaining balance between energy efficiency and high design concept. The building has been thermally modelled and shows that the curved design does not compromise the performance, in-fact this specific design actually enhances it.
The building is crescent shaped, cut into the hillside with the upper levels sliding partially over the lower levels. The design has taken into account ecological features such as grassed roof areas which further allow the building to sink into the Sussex landscape in contrast to the modern glazing.
Overall the design for this innovative building was to draw the garden with its views over the Sussex Downs into the house and taking full advantage of the orientation of the sun to include Passivhaus principles, shading itself during the day using passive solar gains when appropriate, and distributing the heat throughout the building using a natural ventilation strategy in conjunction with a mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) system. The ventilation system is well recognised as a common feature of excellent quality green architecture and Passivhaus principles.
Windows are also Passivhaus certified supplied by Optiwin, with a U value of 0.8Kw/m2/K. These are primarily timber windows with an aluminium coating, super air tight to comply with the stringent regulations pertaining to Passivhaus certification. The building has been modelled using the Passivhaus planning pack as part of the original design process. The use of superior levels of insulation and locked in thermal mass will affect the internal environment to a considerable extent. Once the building is sealed air tight and heat recovery and ventilation introduced, the positive effect on the internal environment will be amplified. The equipment within the building will provide most of the heat demand for the building and this is typical of Passivhaus architecture.
Once again design of this contemporary building provides roof mounted solar hot water and photovoltaics for supply of electricity and hot water. Other ecological measures include rainwater harvesting and appropriate accommodation to house a local bat population.
The building is very strong in its form and will be finished in a self coloured render which will work well with the curves to produce a soft finish, this in conjunction with the curved lines of the deck, the additional landscaping and the brise soleil will sit the building down into the Sussex landscape and produce a building of exceptional architectural merit.
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Contemporary, Insulated concrete formwork, New build, Passivhaus principles, Sussex