The key fundamentals of a successful eco house are low-energy design principles and investment in the building fabric. Spacesix Architects considers environmental principals within all our extension, conversion and bespoke home projects.
Cleverly designed and orientated spaces harness the sun’s energy to help heat the building during cooler months, while open plan spaces can prevent overheating in the summer. Glazing should be placed to enhance this effect and create passive solar spaces which exploit the sun’s energy for heating whilst minimising heat loss to the North.
A balance should be struck between solid structures which can embody energy for heating and the use of lightweight naturally insulated renewable structures to create airtight spaces.
Careful positioning of spaces can ensure that rooms which require little or no heating are to the North and East whilst those that require most heat are to the South and West.
To limit heat loss, heating appliance such as wood burning stoves should be located deep within the plan of a building
Controlled ventilation is essential for maintaining a comfortable temperature and a healthy damp-free environment. A low-tech approach which works alongside natural convection should be adopted to provide passive ventilation.
The heating requirements should be kept to a minimum through to a combination of thermal mass and airtight construction.
Where possible surface water drainage should be dealt with via the installation of gravel trenches which naturally percolate into the soil.
Energy consumption can be mitigated in products such as solar panels and other renewables, in conjunction with a clever mix of materials which have a very long lifespan or are responsibly sourced or are recycled. Careful consideration at the design stage will go a long way to creating successful environmentally friendly spaces.