‘Future Works Housing Design Competition 2009: Stage 2’

Last week the whole group was divided up into three sections: Self Build, Timber Frame and Low Impact Design. This week within our group: Low Impact Design, we began discussing the many elements that make up Low Impact Design. Once we had discussed, analyzed and understood the information we began looking more in depth at precedents.

‘Low Impact Design’ involves a variety of sections, some of which we are studying in detail.

• Passivhaus

• Healthy Materials

• Low Carbon

• Recycled and Up-Cycled materials

In pairs we are studying one precedent in particular which focuses on one of these elements. Ruby and I are analyzing ‘The Larch House’. We are focusing on healthy building materials and low carbon. Larch House is designed by bere:architects in partnership with the United Welsh Housing Association. With zero carbon (CSH code 6), low cost and Certified Passivhaus – the Larch House is the first to achieve this in the UK.

The other pairs in our group are studying specific precedents within the guidelines of a Passivhaus. During the session on Wednesday, we learnt about the five-key elements of Passivhaus including: thermal insulation, Passivhaus windows, airtightness, adequate ventilation strategy and thermal bridge reduced design. This was very interesting as we got to compare Passivhaus to a regular house and study all the pros and cons of this method.

We are completing this research as it is useful knowledge for us as Architecture and Design students to understand how all these factors affect the design of a building. It is also valuable as we are looking towards our new Self Build Project and how we can help benefit the environment at the same time.

Written by: Sofia Browning, BA Architecture

Date: 14/02/19

Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Feb. 2019].

Institute, P. (2019). Passivhaus Institut. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Feb. 2019].

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