EnerPHit standard house, Wake Green Road
This inter–war house in Moseley, Birmingham was a fantastic opportunity to apply our passivhaus experience to an existing building and construct to as close to the EnerPHit standard as possible — a much more challenging prospect than new build.
Being detached, the majority of the building could be externally insulated, thus avoiding many of the issues of cold bridging, or gaps in the insulation, where internal walls and floors meet the outside walls. The front of the house, quite significant in the area as most other houses copied its style, is having the original brick slip and half timbered finish applied (in acrylic) to the outside of the rendered insulation.
This is the perfect example of passivhaus design not needing to be one particular style or another.
At the back of the house, we were less constrained, and have brought the ground floor out at a diagonal. The strong new line brings the glazed kitchen extension further towards South to maximise solar gain, whilst also providing shading to prevent summer overheating. It is highly insulated (like the rest of the house), and has a sedum roof.
The clients moved in just in time for Christmas (2011), and have not needed any heat in the house at all, thanks to it being so well insulated and airtight — not bad for an existing house…