A new build house situated in the grounds of a 1920s grade 11* manor house in Ewhurst, Surrey. The site is within the metropolitan green belt and an area of outstanding natural beauty and as such, the proposal had to be rated ‘exceptional’ in order to gain planning approval. The client was eager to achieve a Passivhaus certification and therefore the building adopts a fabric first approach and integrates the architecture, engineering and building services in order to reduce the energy demand to a minimum.
Webb Yates Engineers provided the structural and civil engineering services for the scheme. Materials were specified due to their environmental properties. The facade was designed using GGBS concrete (ground granular blast furnace slag – a waste product from the iron-making industry), tinted to replicate the natural sandstone of the neighbouring listed property. GGBS reduces the overall environmental burdens by 30-40% compared with traditional concrete. The finish is light and smooth and shows less defects due to the fineness of the GGBS particles.
The floor plan was carefully designed to meet the environmental requirements of the brief. The central entrance atrium acts as a thermal buffer to temper the air of the surrounding living spaces, without compromising large glazed openings. Various environmental strategies were incorporated into the concrete design including; solar hot water; photovoltaics and ground source heat pumps.
Intertwined into the landscape, the multidisciplinary design for the Concrete House delivers a highly sustainable and contemporary residential prototype designed to Passivhaus standards.