This house is situated on a small corner site in what was once a rural setting, but which is now an established residential area of single-storey dwellings. Despite efforts to renovate and remodel the old family bungalow that sat on the site, it made more sense on a number of levels to demolish it and build a new low-energy timber frame building. Whilst the new house is clearly more contemporary than its neighbours, it both stands out and at the same time sits quietly in the cul de sac. In other words, from an architectural perspective, its simplicity and nod to its once rural setting, results in a compact but stunning home.
The client for this house was client and architect, with a special interest in low energy homes. The client brief to Kudos was to achieve as close as possible to passive house standard as budget would allow. Kudos supplied the timber frame core, insulation and air tightness to the build, with the main contractor responsible for the other elements.
Aside from the architectural aesthetics and functional use of space and material, a key objective was to achieve a low energy home, attaining a favourably low u-value without compromising on the architectural detailing and lifestyle driven attributes that the couple wanted to create. The client was very committed to the concept of the building breathing. At Kudos we refer to this as the ‘optimal u-value’ to achieve a low-energy, comfortable, breathing home.
Building core and fabric
What appears to be a simple aesthetic can only be achieved by nuanced design. There is no clutter in this home, either externally or internally. Every detail is considered for its functionality as much as it’s aesthetic.
There are many key benefits of a timber frame building, one of them being its versatility – it equally lends itself to traditional and contemporary styles. A timber frame construction means that much of the operational aspects of the home can be hidden, especially with a well-designed and planned build, meaning that the architectural detailing can shine without interruption.
A low energy home
As mentioned above, a core objective of the client was to have a low-energy home. To achieve this, Kudos designed the core fabric of the building, with its team of craftsmen installing the timber frame core, airtightness measures and insulation. Triple-glazing and a heat recovery system all combine to contribute to achieving an optimum u-value of 1.4, with the resulting comfortable atmosphere in the home palpable upon entering.
Underfloor heating and a gas boiler were installed to provide hot water, as was a mechanical heat recovery system to assist with the healthy, breathing building aspiration.
The client has reported a vast reduction in their energy bill, compared to their previous 1992 build home.
Living the Kudos timber frame home experience
Having lived in the home for 20 months at the time we visited the client, they reported that a key noticeable factor is the lack of heat differences throughout the house, with a tangible sense of clean air and a better sense of well-being.
Why choose Kudos?
As an architect, this was the client’s first timber frame building. Being fairly particular himself, he told us he felt obliged to go with Kudos for a number of reasons, not least the level of knowledge, expertise and by extension, confidence that the Kudos team imparted. Everyone on the build worked well together and the project was extremely well managed. The site-team were very knowledgeable, and despite the requirement for a large crane being on the street for a few days, the neighbours were kept informed and happy. This was no doubt helped by the speed of the build with 90% of the timber frame installed in 2-2.5 days.
At Kudos we are delighted that we have a continuing relationship with the client.
Architect Robert Dunlop of RHD Architects
Photography courtesy of Dillon Osborne Photography https://www.diltakesphotos.com/