Passivhaus uses a fabric-first approach to create low-energy buildings, with minimal running costs, that are kind to the planet and create comfortable internal environments to live in. This is achieved through high levels of insulation, excellent air-tightness and avoiding thermal bridges.
We believe 'eco-homes' can also be beautiful, as this 4 bedroom, 6,500 sq.ft paragraph 79 project in County Durham shows.
We were appointed post-planning to deliver the technical package for this innovative new home and loved every minute of it!
The strikingly rugged design is dominated by a stone facade that seamlessly wraps over the whole building - combining the wall and roof, with relatively large areas of glazing and deep, chamfered reveals. These elements combined to pose significant technical challenges, not least in the context of Passivhaus and the fact the super-structure was a lightweight timber frame! However, with the help of a dedicated team, leading a series of design workshops and collaboration with many specialists, we were able to successfully overcome the many technical issues.
So specific were the design parameters of this project, that we produced 3D sequencing details to convey how the building would be constructed, ensuring both the stringent environmental and aesthetic needs could be met by the construction process. In addition, details were modelled and thermal bridge calculations undertaken to test their performance.
The modest challenge of designing a stone facade and roof connected to a lightweight timber frame involved dialogue with stone-masons, engineers, facade specialists and rain-screen cladding experts.
The result - a design that features a self-supporting stone facade and rain-screen stone roof: elegant, waterproof, breathable, thermally superior to many buildings and most importantly, exceeding the brief!
thermal modelling images courtesy of ecospheric & peter warm
3D details produced to explain the sequencing required for the feature gable chimney