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Contemporary Passivhaus approach home in Farnham, Surrey

The Planning Application was granted in June 2014 to replace an existing early 1950s bungalow with a new Passivhaus approach family home of contemporary design. Works completed in early 2016.

Designed by BWP Architects with the superstructure constructed by MBC Timberframe this Passivhaus design approach looks at a ‘fabric first’ building method to control energy efficiency and temperature fluctuations. High levels of insulation, careful construction detailing to limit thermal bridging, high quality control to minimise air-permeability (draughts!), logical planning of the layout and services to reduce loss of energy in long pipework runs etc all help contribute to energy efficiency. A detailed understanding of passive solar gains and limiting overheating from high summer sun levels are equally important and have contributed to the final design.

The property has a gross internal floor area of approximately 280sqm for the main house with a further 45sqm for the garage and cycle store. Designed around the concept of a solid core, the first floor west, south and east elevations are treated at first floor level with timber cladding ‘overcoat’.

This first floor ‘overcoat’ serves a dual function. It breaks up the mass of the building by adding a linear element reflecting the linear nature of the site while also providing deep recessed windows and overhangs to limit summertime excessive solar gains while permitting wintertime low level sun in to the house. The cantilevered section to the front (west elevation) provides a porch over the front door.

The proposed garage and store is positioned in a similar location to the existing garage and store but in the proposal is attached to the main house. This is sited on the north, darker side of the house and utilises the existing turning area. The floor plans have been designed to place the principal habitable rooms to the south, east and west elevations leaving bathrooms, stores and plant rooms to the north elevation.