Metroland Passivhaus

The Deerings is a joint project by Gresford Architects and Nicholas Tye Architects for an ultra-low-energy home in Harpenden

Buildings.

Photos
Quintin Lake

Built to Passivhaus standards, The Deerings is designed as a sympathetic response to its suburban setting in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. The two-storey rectangular house replaces a bungalow in which the client had lived as a child and had inherited from her parents.

Ampetheatre

The house was built using a super-insulated timber frame, constructed off-site by MBC Timber Frame and supplied with insulation and an airtight membrane, and erected on a passive slab.  The frame was completed in three weeks, significantly shortening the overall programme, and minimising waste and disturbance to neighbours.

Ampetheatre
Ampetheatre
Ampetheatre

The open-plan ground floor allows the mature garden to be seen immediately on entry through large sliding doors at the rear. A large hallway beyond the front door houses an open timber and steel staircase, which lets light pass into the depth of the plan. Beyond the staircase to the left, a snug and home office is tucked behind a wall, clad in ash battens. The ash cladding also lines the ceiling of the living room to the right of the staircase, adding a warm feel in contrast to the open dining and kitchen areas. The kitchen, handmade by a family member, incorporates concrete worktops, while a generous utility room beyond links back to the front entrance.

The five double bedrooms on the first floor include an en-suite master bedroom with access to a Japanese bath on a roof terrace overlooking the garden. The family bathroom is orientated towards the garden with the bath positioned to take advantage of a view of the trees and sky. A reading area at the top of the stairs overlooks the dining and kitchen areas below.

Horizontal English chestnut cladding on the front and rear facades is punctuated by a composition of windows, with smaller windows located on the side elevations to reduce heat loss and to avoid overlooking.

The Deerings should cost very little to run – a heat exchange system provides constant background ventilation, removing stale air and drawing in fresh air, and the Passivhaus-certified woodburner is backed-up by a gas boiler if required. The Deerings was a joint project with Nicolas Tye Architects, who prepared initial plans and secured planning consent, and Gresford Architects, who developed the design through the detailed design and construction phases.

Additional Images

2018-02-05T17:51:38+00:00

Explore more