Project: Birch Holt
Location: Long Four Acres, South Norfolk
Status: Nearing Completion
CO2: 8.81 kgCO2 / m2
This low energy detached house is constructed on one of the plots identified as part of the Custom/ Self build site known as Long Four Acres in South Norfolk.
Our client was keen to have a home which would reflect their personalities, their love of travel and their desire for contemporary, low energy living. The house is defined by a semi-private courtyard on the south east corner, bounded by a roofed and planted colonnade and enclosed by the body of the house, with louvred solar shading within the courtyard to reduce summertime solar gain into the house.
This courtyard is the perfect place for morning coffee, sheltered from south-westerly winds and with glimpsed views out, while generally sheltered from overlooking. The house takes influence from traditional Japanese and sub-tropical architecture, as well as western mid-century design, with large overhanging roofs providing solar shading to the internal spaces, as well as providing protection to the east, south and west sides of the house in bad weather.
The long, low, flat roofed form of the house is intended to ensure that it sits low within the landscape rather than on top of it, allowing the occupants to feel that they are surrounded by the landscape in which they live. The internal layout is arranged to provide a continuous flow and connection around the house, with long views through the key spaces to outside.
The materials palette is limited, with few materials used with care, consideration and a finesse of detailing to avoid unnecessary over-complication, with interest provided by the play of light and shadow across the louvres within the courtyard.
The house benefits from a heat recovery ventilation system, which provides heating and cooling as well as ventilation throughout the year. A Photovoltaic array on the top roof is invisible from the ground and provides most of the house's electricity requirements.