A good example for use of structural insulated panels (SIPs) to maximise space on a tight site whilst minimising ecological impact.
A ‘flat pack’ home in which the insulation and structure are effectively part of the same, relatively thin, wall and thus freeing up more usable space within the three-storey Hunt House makes a virtue of its location and its diminutive footprint.
A self-build, timber-based solution was chosen to terminate a stepping, two-storey brick-built Victorian terrace. Located to one side of the end-terrace property which the clients had purchased in 2007, the driveway was originally the site of two other terraced houses that had been condemned and demolished in the 1970s. A successful home business prompted the need for larger, dedicated premises capable of being built within a very tight budget, its proximity was ideal for this eco-friendly, self-build house.
The planning application for the three-bedroom dwelling with home office was submitted towards the end of 2009 and, once approved under Delegated Powers, was completed and occupied within a year, a testament to the efficacy of the SIPs method of construction.
The design of the Hunt House’s front elevation takes its cue from the established street geometry, replicating the width of a single terrace unit and leaving space to the side for a new driveway. Excavating into the sloping rear garden made intelligent use of the site’s tight footprint since it not only allowed the house to be set back from the terrace’s long facade and aligned in height with the ridge of the adjacent roof, but also enabled the introduction of an external yard/bike store to the rear. Extending the Siberian larch clad house backwards in this way had the additional benefit of increasing its outdoor areas through the creation of a roof garden and balconies.
Internally, the high levels of airtightness and thermal efficiency inherent in the structural insulated panels, together with a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) system, have meant that the property has rarely required more heating than that provided by the very efficient wood-burning stove in the main living space.
An unusual and highly original end-of-terrace exemplar solution that was built to Level 4 of the (no-longer-extant) Code for Sustainable Homes, the Hunt House won the Self-Build category of the Telegraph Homebuilding and Renovating Magazine Awards in 2011.
The Modern Timber House in the UK, chapter 6
Images: Camera Crew