dima
  • [design] Energy +ve Rural Living

    [Sept 2017 - John McCall Architects - RIBA Stages 0-3 - Private Commission] Project architect responsibilities, under the direct supervision of director Colin Usher, whose passive house had just been awarded the UK Buildings and Energy Efficiency Award for most efficient house. The building was tailored exactly to the client's needs, while creating a low-profile and exemplary piece of architecture for construction in an area of outstanding natural beauty, with tough planning conditions. Sitting precisely within the footprint of a run-down and disused agricultural building on this former farm, the building is centred around an internal courtyard, separating 2 long barn-forms. A large and open-plan 'living' barn is lit from the courtyard and benefits from views out across gardens, while a lower profile 'sleeping' barn receives morning light and is segregated from the noise of daily life. The courtyard contains an endless swimming pool recessed into the ground, and is converted into a winter garden with a motorised glazed canopy controlled at the flick of a switch, making the space habitable all year round and helping keep the building well sealed, which is vital to reducing energy consumption. More than 100m² of solar panels adorn the south-facing barn roofs, generating enough electricity not only to run the house year-in and year-out, but to charge and drive 2 electric vehicles a sum total of 16,000 miles (the average distance a car is driven in the UK). In-so-doing, the house resolves one of the key issues of rural living - the energy and cost of commuting is effectively reduced to zero. The house is expected to break ground later in 2018.