Highgate London – SHH
Most of us want to live ‘green’, minimising our footprint on this one earth of ours. So what does it take to win an international ‘eco’ award – especially if you are building a 288m2 (3,000 sq.ft.) home?
“A new-build £1.1m house in North London for private clients, which seeks to go beyond the legal requirements for green and energy-saving technologies in new-build properties and to embody the best in stylish but eco-friendly contemporary housing solutions.
These included solar panels to heat water; a geo-thermal heat pump with boreholes, which uses the natural underground earth temperature both to heat and cool the house; a rainwater harvesting system, which reuses water for irrigation and WC flushing; improved building fabric U-values; energy-efficient lighting and a cedar terrace deck with sedum planting around the perimeter.
The brief for the scheme was to create the ideal family home for a couple (with two young children), who had always wanted to have a home built from scratch to answer their precise needs.
The external look of the house mimics the previous home to a degree in terms of the division of façades, so that it blends in well with the surrounding 1960s homes.
All construction materials and methods were of the highest quality, from the integrated colour of the thin-layer render to the custom-cut cedar cladding from renewable sources) to argon-filled double glazing units to prevent heat loss.
The interior was to be open and light with clean lines and lots of storage, so that the house could be clutter-free. Open spaces were to enhance the flow of family life, integrating all activities and family members together.
The open plan rear elevation faces out onto external decking and a simple and minimalistic garden (created by Chelsea Flower Show double-gold medallist garden designer Kate Gould), with three sets of full-height, four-panel bespoke fold-back doors allowing for maximum indoor/outdoor overlap (and also enabling the clients to see where their children are at all times!), with the whole structure also having to be built over and around the roots of the two oak trees.
The house also has a great duality, with the front approach as open and visible as possible, whilst the rear of the house is enclosed for maximum privacy and security, so that the client’s children can have a completely safe and bordered area to play in.”
What do you think? Is it truly green or does it simply comply with ordinances that declare it to be ‘green’?
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