Sustainability underpinned most of the design choices on the project: the project unlocked the potential of a 130-year-old Victorian house and made it suitable for current living requirements through smart inventions. The initial area of the house has been more than doubled, and now houses several family generations.
The traditional sitting room facing the street has been transformed into an office to allow for the hybrid working from home.
The atrium, which forms the heart of the building, brings daylight deep into the plan, therefore reducing the need for artificial light and contributing to warm up the house from autumn to spring through solar gains. The openable windows in the highest point of the atrium provide effective natural cross-ventilation in summer, eliminating the need for air-conditioning.
Most of the building materials have been chosen based on their sustainability credentials. The blockwork from local manufacturer Lignacite provides a large thermal mass to the building, ensuring the building stays cool in summer. Underfloor heating in the polished concrete floor allows for efficient low-temperature heating. Four photovoltaic panels on the roof generate a considerable amount of energy throughout the year.
Extensive green roofs on top of the new extension and the garden room give great views from inside, contribute to the outlook for the neighbours, but also reduce the urban heat island effect, and encourage biodiversity. The side walls of the garden are treated as vertical extension of the horizontal surface of the garden and are used for growing climbers. Biodiversity is also encouraged by the use of the biodiverse turf in the garden, and extensive planting of species optimal for pollinators and bees, which in turn pollinate vegetable and fruit plants in the garden.
Mariia Pashenko and Koen Schaballie