Posts

Site visit to our Stoke Poges build

, ,

It’s always exciting to see a project that you have created coming together.

That’s exactly how we felt on our latest trip to Stoke Poges, to visit the site of our innovative new build with a contemporary design and similar feel to a German Huf Haus.

The greyness of the day didn’t attract from the immensity of the building as it has begun to take shape, complementing the plot with its innovative structure and creative design.

With the main structure built, and character of the interior being established, we are well on our way to completing the project in time for our May target.


So, what makes this project so unique? 

Even at first glance it is clear that this property doesn’t fall in line with convention. Its dramatic pitched roof, high ceilings, glass exterior and timber structure give it a different feel to the brick houses that Britain has grown so accustomed to. Its open-plan design and use of windows and glass allow it to capture sunlight and create a bright and modern place to live.


What inspired the design?

Our client came to us with a brief of creating a house with a similar feel to the award-winning German Huf Haus design. Big open spaces and natural light appealed to them, however they wanted the house to have a little more privacy and a more ‘homely’ feel than the original German design. We therefore designed a house with some Huf Haus characteristics, such as the pitched roof, high ceiling, terraces and large glass windows to capture natural light, while maintaining some more British features of a home and tailoring the property to suit our clients preferences, such as supplementing a brick wall on the outside ground floor.


What other features does the house have?

We decided to use innovative construction for the new building, settling on Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) from Kingspan TEK. These are made of wood, but their invisible structure gave us freedom with the interior design. Furthermore, their prefabrication meant that construction time was less and there was limited on-site waste. The panels also have high energy efficiency, allowing for a thinner construction than usual insulation.


What comes next?

Although our Stoke Poges build has begun to take shape and acquire character, there are still things to be done before our May deadline. Currently, underfloor heating and electrics are being fitted and then decorating and finishes for the property will commence. We can’t wait to follow the progress of this contemporary and modern design, and are looking forward to seeing the finished product!

The importance of energy efficient housing

,

Before a new house is built, it has to go through a ‘detailing’ process.

This is one of the more technical stages of the design process, where the intricacies of the construction are assessed and the property receives an energy rating based on its efficiency and performance.

A house that uses energy efficiently is not only less costly, but it is also better for the environment. As an architecture company committed to sustainability, Living Space Architects strives to meet the highest accredited energy standards with all of its designs.

This isn’t always a walk in the park- accredited details often don’t match innovative building designs, so the thermal calculation process can become more complicated, involving a more in-depth analyses of the property specifications.


Living Space Architects are currently facing this barrier with the a new build located in Devon. Although the house is designed to be low-energy, its innovative design is not in tune with the accredited details, and so we have set about making changes and alterations to ensure we are able to meet these highest standards.

There are a number of changes and alterations that can be made to new designs to improve their energy rating and enhance their efficiency. Below are some of the ways that we intend to do this with the new build in question:

  1. Change the specification of the air-source heat pump
  2. Modify the insulation product
  3. Change the ventilation system to a heat-recovery system
  4. Work with air-tight detailing

Energy performance is assessed using SAP 2012 methodology, and is rated in terms of the energy use per square meter of floor area, energy efficiency based on fuel costs and environmental impact based on carbon dioxide emissions. In the analysis of the property, an ‘Energy Efficiency Rating’ and ‘Environmental Impact Rating’ are provided. Both ratings use a grading system, which spans from A (very energy efficient, very environmentally friendly) to G (not energy efficient, not environmentally friendly).

One (albeit expensive) way to ensure that a new build is meeting accredited energy standards is to complete a PSI calculation on every detail. This gives a more accurate indicator of energy performance and is effective when dealing with innovative designs that might not fit neatly within established guidelines.


Undertaking this part of the process might seem extensive, but it is a vital part of building any new property and one that Living Space Architects takes very seriously as sustainability is such a core part of the company. We are looking forward to adapting this latest build to make it as energy efficient as possible, so that the final product will not only be a contemporary, modern and stylish design, but will have strong materials in place to ensure it fulfils its low-energy requirements and is the perfect home.