The first family is James, Nicky, Akiko, 14 and Jack 12. They have lived in the village for 10 years and rent an estate property. They were unable to afford a 3 bed house in the local area. James is an organic grower for a local charity. Nicky is a special needs senior teaching assistant.
The second family, John, Elaine, Rebecca 19 and Emily15 has also been priced out of the local property market. They both work for the estate, John runs Witherslack Woodlands and Elaine is a housekeeper at Halecat House. Rebecca works at the local pub the Derby Arms. Elaine grew up in the village and was keen to own their own home in Witherslack, which was facilitated via this project.
The super insulated, low energy houses were built using 300 mm insulated cavity walls and 400 mm insulated roof to give a consistent all over fabric U Value of less than 0.11 W/m2k. The houses include heavy weight thermal mass to reduce the thermal flywheel effect to a minimum. The windows will be Low E argon filled triple glazed, to give a centre pane U value of 0.83 W/m2k. Cold bridging was avoided through careful detailing around all reveals. Incidental air infiltration will be kept to a minimum through air tight construction that will provide a target air change rate of less than 0.6 per hour under 50 Pascal air pressure test.
Efficient Scandinavian space heating wood burning stoves fueled from local timbers harvested from the local woodland John manages provide any additional heat required beyond solar gain and heat gains from the occupants and house appliances. Conventional central heating boilers run off fossil fuels was not be required. A south facing photovoltaic panel array provides renewable electricity.
This is a flagship project for The Witherslack Community Land Trust and The Lake District National Park Authority. With their low environmental footprint these houses provide a positive example of how to marry the needs and expectations of new housing with strict environmental standards in a sensitive rural setting can be met affordably.
As stated in The Vision for the Lake District National Park we trust this project is
‘‘ An Inspiration Of Sustainable Development In Action ”