Howlands Cottage

Ecological and low energy dwelling

The project aimed to create a ‘place’, forming a special environment on the secluded site. The client brief was for a small, low maintenance, and low energy demand dwelling, within a sheltered unobtrusive area, well screened from public view.

The house, in terms of its form, thermal envelope, airtightness, glazing, orientation and ventilation system, has been designed and assessed according to the principles of the Passivhaus standard. The compact single storey sectional form has also designed to reduce the bulk of the house and its impact on the surroundings, to reduce wind loads. The open-plan living areas, are orientated to maximise solar gain and views across the site.

The compact form of the dwelling, low fabric U-Values and draught free construction, limit the heat loss through the thermal envelope. The large glazing on the south elevation also provides additional solar gain to offset the space heating demand. The property is heated principally using the wood burning stove with infrared panel radiators as backup. The domestic hot water is generated using an integrated heat pump hot water cylinder.

The construction uses a woodfibre timber frame system to the walls and roof and high performance triple glazing to create an extremely robust, low energy, breathable and ecological construction.