Existing Building Fabric.
We internally insulated the existing structure without visually changing continuity of the existing rough cast render and natural stone walling. The existing solid stone, cold and damp walls where internally lined with insulation to provide warmth retention and thermal mass. Existing drip courses, gable bargeboards and purlin ends were retained for visual continuity. The existing ground floors were lifted, insulated and provided with under floor heating powered from the thermal store, which is heated by the solar hot water panels and the biomass boiler. The ceilings where insulated with 300 mm of Earthwool recycled insulation providing a warm ‘hat’ to the buildings. The original single glazed windows were replaced with 1.1 U value, Low E, argon filled double glazed energy efficient, traditionally detailed conservation sash and case Accoya timber windows. Cold bridging was designed out as far as possible and the house and barns were internally plastered and all component junctions draft sealed to improve thermal performance. A woodstove provides key top up heating to the main living room.
The internal layout of the house was adjusted to provide improved solar gain from traditional double fronted south facing ground floor windows and to provide an air lock draft lobby to the new main northeast entrance. The annex home studio barn internal layout was adapted to retain the open plan barn-ness of the existing structure and retain visual continuity externally. Adjustments to the existing buildings traditional vernacular appearance were enhanced and new interventions have been restricted to the private garden west elevation.
New Building Fabric.
The existing house was enlarged with a large passive solar preheat solar sunspace. The naturally weathered, robustly detailed green oak framed extension structure performs three key functions, firstly, to provide a natural day lit internal gardening space for a keen gardener to propagate seeds to produce home grown food, and perhaps more importantly to provide an integrated passive solar sun space to preheat incoming outside air and allow the sun’s latent heat to be invested and stored in the internal thermal mass masonry walls of the pre heat sun space which, can be slowly released later. Thirdly this extension space reduces the exposed surface area of the core of the house to the outside cold temperatures to allow the steady state internal temperature to be more easily achieved with out additional space heating.
Zero Co2 Solar Hot Water.
One the largest consumers of energy within any house are the heating of hot water to service domestic hot water requirements for the kitchen and bathrooms. As part of the sustainable development two wall mounted solar thermal collectors where fitted to the south facing barn gable to provide hot water to a thermal store.
Zero Co2 Biomass-Fuel Heating System
One the largest consumers of energy within any house is the heating of hot water to service the heating system. The well-insulated building fabric with internal thermal mass has reduced heat losses to a minimum creating considerable thermal inertia. A conventional central heating boiler run off fossil fuels was not used; an innovative wood pellet biomass boiler located in the roadside barn was used. The clean burning biomass boiler invests hot water in to a large thermal store. Hot water is drawn off via a under ground district heating pipe to provide hot water to the under floor heating in the annex studio barn and house. An efficient 4 kW Scandinavian space heating wood burning stove fuelled from local timbers harvested from the sites woodland will provide a social focus to the living room and will complement the background heat provided by the main pellet boiler and the heat gains from the occupants and house appliances.
Zero Co2 Site Generated Renewable Energy Electrical Supply.
Generating site derived renewable electricity is difficult on sensitive sites such as this within a National Park. Our first port of call for generating renewable electricity would normally be a domestic wind turbine but we opted for and roof mounted solar photovoltaic panels to the south facing barn roof.
Low Energy Appliances.
All appliances have been carefully considered to eliminate unnecessary electrical demand and to optimize the efficiency of the required essential items, cooker, fridge, low energy lighting etc. All selected components are category A* rated for maximum efficiency and minimal electrical draw when in use. Excess electricity produced from the on site renewables systems which cannot be used directly will be dumped into the hot water thermal store to run in parallel with the hot water coil heated by the solar hot water panels, further surplus is supplied to the grid.