Working with Eco Arc we agreed ‘The oak frame takes on the role of the main skeleton of the building with the encapsulation being supported on this to create the shape of the house around it,’ said David. ‘To increase the performance of our standard WrightWall Natural panels, the outer panel holding the cellulose insulation in between the I-joists was replaced with thicker wood fibreboard to enhance the insulation value. It also eliminated any thermal bridging at external junctions, thus increasing the performance further still.’ He said the positioning of the oak structure, particularly at corners, could have made the continuous nature of the internal membrane difficult to achieve on site, so full size mock-ups were produced in the factory to work through ways it could be done effectively. The project was then created in 3D design software and the entire system manufactured at Oakwright’s production facility in Herefordshire.
‘This allowed us to consider the complete system holistically, not just by its constituent element, which may then be reliant on others to co-ordinate once on site,’ said David. ‘It gives us control over the superstructure of the house, ensuring the frame and encapsulation work harmoniously and effectively.’
Andrew & Phil said they had searched long and hard to find a company that was prepared to work to this level of detail, and be determination to achieve Passivhaus status for a timber framed building. ‘It posed many challenges as it hadn’t been done before,’ says Phil. ‘Oakwrights not only rose to the challenge but also, in doing so, became the first company with Eco Arc to build a timber frame Passivhaus in the UK.’
“When we got the opportunity to build our Green Oak Frame House, an ambition held for more than a decade, not only were we lucky enough to obtain a plot with panoramic views of the North Yorkshire coast but we also had the good fortune to find an architect and construction company with the ability to design and build a Green Oak Frame House that also achieved Passivhaus standard.
Now we are living in a home that is maintained at a constant optimal temperature with a continual supply of filtered fresh air from the MVHR, combine with this the subtle smell of wood, the visual appeal of the exposed oak frame and the peace and quiet created by the exceptional soundproofing of the Passivhaus construction and you have an environment that is perfect for all the senses generating a fantastic feeling of wellbeing.
We are looking forward to enjoying the changing seasons in the comfort of our new home in the knowledge that we will be utilising very little energy and reaping the subsequent environmental and financial rewards.”