We have submitted a planning application for a new eco-friendly passive house located in Corstorphine/Murrayfield, Edinburgh.
As environment and sustainability conscious architects we have designed the new house with energy efficient green technologies in mind. The following basic principles have been adopted to minimise energy use:
• A highly insulated external fabric with a high level of airtightness
• High thermal mass internally
• Large windows and rooflights allowing sunlight to penetrate deep into the building and maximise passive solar gain
• A whole building mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery
• Ground source energy collection transferred via a heat exchanger to underfloor heating system
• Solar energy collected via integrated photovoltaic cells charging housed battery to supplement electricity load
• No use of fossil fuels
• Comfort heating provided by burner fuelled using bioethanol
Green roofs and “living walls” contribute to reduction of heat island effect as well as improve local biodiversity. Rainwater harvesting system has been Implemented in the design. Rainwater falling on green roofs is collected and retained in the irrigation layer. Overflow from all roofs is collected in storage tanks and reused to irrigate the green walls.
The house is designed to maximize daylight, the main body of the building has been orientated in a North/South direction with kitchen and bedrooms benefiting from morning sunlight and the PV cell covered vaulted roof receiving sunlight all day and into the evening. Rooflights allow sun to penetrate in the afternoon and evening. The living area has large windows to both North and South with sunlight penetrating through a rooflight into the afternoon. Most windows openings are equipped with sliding folding shutter systems which can be opened and shut as required, maximizing light when open and providing solar and wind protection when shut.
The house has been designed to have a low profile with most of the building obscured from neighbouring properties by the existing high stone garden walls and new gabion walls of a similar height. It is an inward focused building with the accommodation grouped around 2 small, private courtyard garden areas with all ground floor windows looking out to these. Façades not covered with “living walls” have been clad with charred timber cladding using the ancient Japanese technique of timber waterproofing - Shou Sugi Ban.