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New House


Girton, Cambridgeshire




AC Architects designed this one-off sustainable house in Girton. The house uses Passivhaus design principles and a SIP's (Structural Insulated Panel) construction to achieve a comfortable, low energy home.

Using the SIP's panels has ensured an airtight and very well insulated construction. The pre-formed panels minimise on-site waste and landscape disruption (particularly useful as there are a number of mature trees on the plot) as well as construction time.

A central rammed earth wall, incorporating some of the archaeological finds unearthed on the site during the excavations acts as a central focus whilst providing thermal mass. Cobbles also found during the excavation incorporated under the stairs provide a memory of the medieval yard which once occupied the site. Reclaimed and salvaged materials have been used where practicable throughout the construction to reduce embodied energy.

Solar thermal panels on the south facing roof provide summertime hot water and supplement the high efficiency gas condensing boiler during the winter.

In-situ solar shading in the form of deciduous planting as well as shutters and a projecting roof help protect the south facing glazing from excess summertime solar gain whilst allowing low level sun to warm the rooms in winter.

Rainwater supplies the toilets, the washing machine and the garden.

Solar Photovoltaic panels on the roof reduce electricity demand as do the low energy lighting and appliances.

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