Archive for November 2011

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Progress in Ampfield

15 November 2011

We popped in to see our project in Ampfield and were pleased to see a beautiful country house take shape from what had been a plain looking bungalow.  Generous additional space has been formed within the large roof which has transformed the character of the house.  The roof pitch is just at the right angle to improve the look of the house and make the space within it as usable as possible.

Our client has been directly involved in the procurement of the project and has managed to make some small savings as they’ve gone along.  The construction information provided by us has ensured that progress has been smooth with very little to resolve or change on site (unlike what you see happens on projects on TV).  Indeed, the only changes have been where the client has wanted to incorporate low maintenance materials.

We were pleased to see the roof being installed.  The Redland tiles are a good cost effective product which uses less material, costs less but still looks good if the roof is properly detailed.  This is just one of the innovations we had in mind when we designed the house.

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Conference

15 November 2011

We attended the RIBA’s small practice conference last week.  As well as attending lectures from some up and coming practices, we undertook a  number of CPD sessions to update our green credentials.  One told of an ‘extreme’ eco-refurbishment by architect Lucy Pedlar.  She had some interesting figures on their resulting energy use and we thought it would be worth comparing with our own refurbishment and extension.

For a similar amount of money we added 85% more floor area to our 90 m2 house.  We were careful to make economical improvements to the insulation levels which went beyond the building regulations without adding much cost.  We weren’t able to insulate the existing floor slab and are yet to insulate the cavity walls (given that the house is performing well as is it’s something that’s urgent).  We did ensure the roof was well insulated and that we added in extra insulation to our garden room, given that there was a large surface area.

Compared to the figures provided by Lucy, our home performs well compared to the averages provided by the Carbon Trust.  Gas and electricity use is about 2/3 of that of a typical house.  That’s pretty much been achieved without any ‘additional’ expenditure or renewable technologies.  We have a large area of south facing roof which would be ideal for solar PV if we had wanted to take advantage of the generous feed-in tariffs.

Compared to the house as existing, electricity use has pretty much been constant while the gas use went up only 25% with the 85% increase in area.  This shows that you can, with careful consideration, improve your living space and comfort without significantly increasing your carbon footprint.

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Progress in Fulflood

8 November 2011

We popped in to check on progress of our project in Fulflood.

We’ve previously extended a similar house but decided on a very different design for this project.  Aside from having a slightly different brief, this house has a different orientation and is positioned at the bottom of a slope.  In order to maximise the light into the house we angled the roof up so the large folding sliding doors take in much more of the sky.  Although modern in its form, the brickwork and roof pitch matches the existing house, making a subtle distinction between old and new.