Simple form low energy house near Southampton for a self-builder

Designed in 2005, this house is the first by the practice where a significant advancement was made to develop a low energy strategy for a whole house construction.

The shape and construction of the house has been kept relatively simple as the clients, who are not trained builders, have construct a significant part of the building themselves with the help of relatives and friends with trade skills.

The house is insulated to the Eco-house Advanced standard which was considerably above the then current building regulation requirements and has the advantage of large opening windows to the south. It still remains significantly above the recently increased building regulation requirements. Because of the potential for summer overheating sun shading has been designed for the main windows but to date have not been fitted. The building has significant thermal mass and secure night-time ventilation is provided, both of which have contributed to significantly reducing overheating of the house in the summer months to make this acceptable without the fixed sun shading. The option is still available to provide the shading if future climate change increases the overheating potential. The secure night-time ventilation takes the form of secure opening windows to the north elevation and openable roof windows. Solar water heating is provided on the roof and there is the potential for a wind turbine and photovoltaic cells to be added at a later stage.

At a last visit to the house, the construction of the house was almost complete and reports are that the energy strategy is performing well.

RIBA AECB Architects Registration Board Association of Self-Build Architects Passivhaus Trust