Newbuild Houses, Lancashire
The site is on the very Northern edge of the Preston City development area and close to the planned Western Bypass. Formerly in the green belt, the original farmhouse has been replaced with a new home and the former barn has been converted to a residential unit.
Both properties are left with large parcels of land and the owners took the decision that they would take the opportunity to develop them for upmarket residential use. The brief was to create hybrid houses in a manner that would be sufficiently traditional so as not to discourage that section of the community but offer a more contemporary style of living at the same time. Internally they will be highly specified and the installation of extensive bi-fold doors will allow the integration of inside and outside living.
There are 7 detached houses on the larger site offering over 200 sq metres of accommodation whilst the smaller site has almost identical accommodation but of about 180 sq metres.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of these houses is invisible. Given that there is no mains gas it was decided that the houses would utilise ground source heat pumps to provide the hot water and heating. Having taken this decision, the idea was extended to work towards zero energy properties and the houses have been orientated to maximise sunlight so that the entire south facing roofs are solar collectors for electrical generation. These are fully integrated rather than added to the roof structure. High levels of insulation ensure that heating loads are low and whole house, heat recovery, ventilation ensures that it will not be necessary to open windows except in extreme conditions. They will be highly efficient and will have so much electrical generation that they will be exporting to the national grid for a significant amount of time.