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Design excellence

Highly Commended in the Hertfordshire Building Futures Design Excellence Award category 2009  

This new dwelling is in the greenbelt and replaces a nineteenth century property. This contemporary designed dwelling aims to be an exemplar of energy efficiency using low carbon fuels.

The energy efficiency of the house is achieved through a combination of measures designed to reduce heat loss, make maximum use of solar gain and exploit passive cooling opportunities. Through these measures the house achieves a reduction in overall CO2 of 86% over the previous house and a reduction in heating CO2 of 99%.

The design is in principle a pure passive solar house, with the majority of glazing orientated to the south. Behind the cladding there are heavy thermal mass materials, storing the daytime heat for night time use, the house is also heated by a wood boiler.  

The canopy along the south façade prevents excessive overheating and the sliding screens draws air into the building, picking up moisture evaporating from the reflecting pool cooling and humidifying the building in summer. In the winter these screens penetrate the sun rays to the back of the house, storing warmth in the building fabric.

These technologies make the house practically a zero carbon dwelling.


Project team:

Client - Mr & Mrs Bradbury (private citizens)

Architect - Niall McLaughlin Architects