The house is sited in a natural concave area of hillside facing principally west along
the contours to enjoy the spectacular landscape setting of the river Ken valley and
the ridges of the Rhinns of Kells hills opposite.
The intention was to create a contemporary single storey ʻlong houseʼ which is
recessive in the landscape, sustainable in its construction, very low in energy
consumption, and aiming for zero net emissions of carbon dioxide for all energy use
in the house.
The design uses lightweight but highly insulated steel and timber frame
construction, clad in cedar weatherboarding allowed to weather to a natural silver
grey colour. The roof finish is pre-weathered grey standing seam zinc. Windows
and external doors are triple glazed high performance timber, painted grey. All
insulation levels are to Passiv Haus standards.
The slope of the roof of the main living accommodation follows the slope of the
hillside, with the rear roof meeting the main roof at a shallower angle to allow
morning sunlight to penetrate the centre of the house.
The entrance to the house is sited on the north east side of the house under the
cover of the roof to provide shelter from the prevailing wind. The principal rooms
are situated along the contour of the site to enjoy the views across the valley to the
west. The ancillary spaces are generally to the rear.
The house is net ʻzero carbonʼ by using very high levels of insulation, minimising air
infiltration heating using an air source heat pump with a ʻwhole house heat recovery
ventilation systemʼ, and generating electricity using a wind turbine and PV panels.