Low Energy House

Low Energy House - Eco Friendly Building - Eco Architect

The main design feature of this four bedroom house is a 20 metre span vaulted arch that forms the main part of the roof structure. The design has been adapted from an historic Mediterranean technique called ‘timbrel vaulting’ that is a traditional building form in Catalonia.

Crossway, a detached house at Staplehurst, Kent by Hawkes Architecture

  Crossway - Low Energy House - Image Provided by Richard Hawkes

The vaulted arch is only 120 mm thick. It has been constructed using small tiles that have been hand made from local clay. The colour and texture of the local clay bricks and tiles, along with the locally grown cedar, maintains some of the rural character of this area of Kent. The porous clay tiles used in the arch naturally regulate the humidity of the internal air and the arch's huge thermal mass regulates the temperature of the internal spaces. The living accommodation has been constructed, beneath the vaulted arch, using timber frame technology.

Crossway Interior - Image Provided by Richard Hawkes

Super insulation and triple glazed windows minimise the house's energy requirement. Newspapers, car tyres and crushed bottles used in the lime mortar and in the polished ground floor are just a few of the recycled materials that have been employed in the project. To conserve heat, the entire timber frame has been enveloped in a reflective membrane layer to make it extremely airtight. In order to provide air for the comfort of the house's occupants, a heat recovery ventilation system has been installed that can recover heat from the extracted stale air. Renewable energy systems generate electricity and store thermal energy. A rainwater harvesting system and an on-site waste treatment plant have also been installed.

  Crossway Stair - Image Provided by Richard Hawkes

Crossway is a very exciting low energy house that incorporates many new technologies. This house is one of the first Zero-Carbon homes in the UK, it has appeared on the Channel 4 programme 'Grand Designs' and it retrospectively achieved Passivhaus Certification in July 2010

For more information on Hawkes Architecture link to - www.hawkesarchitecture.co.uk

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