We have recently completed work on a new five bedroom low energy house in Gloucestershire. Built to the exacting technical standards required of truly sustainable design, this new-build house was designed to suit the needs of a family whilst taking in to account its impact on the environment.

A large open plan ground floor has dining and kitchen areas with an attached ‘snug’. There are living and children’s rooms at either end. A large double-height volume to the rear of the house creates a huge sense of space in the open-plan area. Bedrooms are at first floor level with views across the valley to the south. The house is timber frame construction with generous 300mm recycled newspaper insulation to the walls and 400mm to the roof. There are sufficient solar thermal panels to provide hot water and assist with heating through the winter. Large areas of glazing to the south facade ensure passive solar gain, shaded by a roofed balcony at first floor level to prevent overheating. A key feature of the house is that the air leakage rate is minimal – 1.38 m3/m2/hr at 50 Pascals. Externally, walls are part stone and part oak cladding with rendered gables. The roofing material is plain tiles.

This is the latest in a series of low energy houses Potter & Holmes have worked on from the Gloucestershire office.