Isabel Barros Architects - Blog

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Tag: Wexford (page 1 of 6)

A Passive House Design in Wexford’s Rural Landscape

We are delighted to have achieved Planning Permission for this fantastic project in Wexford.

The site presents a south-facing slope offering open views in a rural landscape. There are large fields surrounding the site, the fields are delineated by native hedges and trees. A number of neighbouring farmyards are also part of the place.

Materials on the neighbouring farm buildings

There is a pattern of materials that is repeated within the area giving it a sense of harmony, these include corrugated metal, rubble stone and white renders.

The south facing aspect of the site offers good access to solar radiation and daylight which are essential for the application of the Passive House standard and passive solar design in general.

DESIGN CONCEPT

The design is strongly related to the landscape and the place.

The proposed site layout is inspired by the nearby traditional courtyard farmyards. 

The proposal uses a contemporary language based on traditional elements and materials.

Three main volumes inspired by traditional forms create a balanced composition with different heights.  The existing rhythm and repetitive pattern of the trees in the northern boundary is reflected in these volumes establishing a strong relationship between the proposed house and the landscape.

The two-storeys volume is conceived to mimic the agricultural buildings in the area. The visual impact is reduced by careful selection of materials that play with mass and weight whilst combining the present with the past.

A simple palette of materials is proposed – white rendered surfaces, notes of rubble stone and grey corrugated metal. The materials aim to connect cultural and local values with a contemporary built environment.

ENERGY PERFORMANCE and SUSTAINABILITY

Passive House Standard
The project’s aspirations include to build a low energy sustainable house guided by the Passive House Standard with a view to achieve full certification by the Passive House Institute.

Passive House is the world‘s leading standard in energy efficient construction. The Passive House Standard stands for quality, comfort and energy efficiency.

Passive Houses stay at a comfortable temperature year-round with minimal energy inputs. Such buildings are heated “passively”, making efficient use of the sun, internal heat sources and heat recovery so that conventional heating systems are rendered unnecessary throughout even the coldest of winters. As energy savings equals emissions reductions, the Passive House is a sustainable alternative to conventional construction.

The house is designed and orientated to maximise passive solar gain and natural lighting. The fenestration facing North is minimal to reduce heat loss. Overhangs to shade south-facing windows are also used to reduce overheating during the summer. The house is carefully positioned to avoid the shade caused by the trees in the northern boundary (2 to 8 metres tall).

Building Energy Rating (BER) and Nearly Zero-Energy Building (nZEB)

The preliminary specifications indicate a Building Energy Rating (BER) of A1 corresponding to an Energy Value of 3.77 KWh/m2/yr. The calculations show an energy performance coefficient (EPC) of 0.024, and a carbon performance coefficient (CPC) of 0.022, which exceeds by far the requirements for a Nearly Zero-Energy Building (nZEB).

Materials and Sustainability

The sustainability strategy also includes the use of timber products manufactured in Ireland from FSC® certified forests managed by Coillte (MEDITE SMARTPLY/ PROPASSIV system).

The choice of corrugated metal takes into consideration the overall environmental impact, performance in use, lifetime durability and maintenance requirements. Many corrugated metal products on the market are made of recycled metal and can be recycled again at the end of their use.

The appropriate fabric specification and an airtight and thermal bridge free design are fundamental to achieve the required Passive House certification.

The external envelope will be highly insulated to Passive House Standards to reduce heat losses. Careful detailing will be essential to achieve the required airtightness and avoid thermal bridges. Energy efficient window glazing units and frames are proposed.

The proposed house is a modern interpretation of the traditional courtyard farmyard. The house aims to use a contemporary architectural language inspired by traditional elements and materials of the rural vernacular architecture.

The design creates visual and physical connections with its surroundings. We believe the proposed development acknowledges, respects and enhances the existing character and landscape without creating an adverse visual impact.

Our design approach considers that Passive House buildings do not have to compromise on their design quality. The idea of creating a unique Passive House drawing strongly from the local vernacular forms and materiality has been paramount to this project.

A Contemporary Composition Using Traditional Forms in Wexford

The site presents a south-facing slope offering open views in a rural landscape. A big tree dominates the northern boundary of the site and the design is strongly related to it.

The neighbouring buildings are dwelling houses with one or two storeys and gable roofs. There are also some farm buildings with corrugated metal near the site.

The Burra Charter

Concept Design

The design aims to create a contemporary composition using traditional forms. The proposal is inspired by the rural location and the traditional single-storey farmhouses with extended layout.

Traditional Farmhouses – Extended Layout
The Burra Charter

Our proposal is for a house that is shaped around the site contours to respect its topography and reduce the visual impact. The proposed gable roofs follow the traditional shapes whilst establishing a visual relationship with the neighbouring houses.

The house is modest in scale and exhibits the simple and functional form of vernacular buildings in Ireland. The projections to south also emulate the traditional lobby-entry protruding from the main house.

A simple palette of materials is proposed – white rendered surfaces and grey/terracotta corrugated metal. The materials aim to connect cultural values with a contemporary built environment.

Sustainability

The house aims to be a ‘Nearly zero-energy building’ (nZEB), this means a building that has a very high energy performance.

The preliminary specifications indicate a Building Energy Rating (BER) of A2 corresponding to an Energy Value of 46.64 KWh/m2/yr. The calculations show an energy performance coefficient (EPC) of 0.273, and a carbon performance coefficient (CPC) of 0.278.

The house is designed and orientated to maximise passive solar gain and natural lighting.

See more animations here.

Do you have a similar project? Talk to us today!


Clonmore House – Wexford

 

One thing we can take it from granted when we visit a rural site in Ireland – green pastures!

On our first visit to this site we were greeted by our young clients and Bel, the sheep.

It was easy to get lost in the stunning open views of the hills but Bel reminded us this was a working farm.

 

 

This site in North Wexford has a gentle south-facing slope and it offers the ideal location for our farmer client to build his future family home.

 

 

Re-inventing the traditional farmyard layout

The proposal was strongly inspired by the rural location, the farm environment and the close proximity to existing farm buildings. The traditional farmyard layout (see no. 1 below) was the starting point for the new scheme.

 

The existing site contours are used as the regulating lines for the new layout. They shift the smaller volume until it is stopped by the 2 storey volume (see no. 2 above). The result is a layout that easily meets the current lifestyle of its occupants while reflecting cultural values of the traditional farmyard layout.

 

 

The main living spaces open up to south to enjoy the best views and passive solar gains. The windows frame the views to the surrounding farmlands and hills. The bedrooms face east to enjoy the morning light. The living room connects to an outside space that is sheltered from the weather and can be used all year around.

 

 

A palette of natural and man-made materials is proposed. Stone walls feature throughout the house recalling the character of agricultural buildings. The zinc has a strong agricultural feel that  balances the composition whilst connecting the traditional gabled volumes. This is contrasted with the stone and white render which act as contemporary, yet rural materials.

The layout optimises the use of solar energy and aims to achieve an A3 BER rating (50 kWh/m2/yr).







See more animations here.

Do you have a similar project? Talk to us today!



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