Design Awards 2012
Curlew Cottage and the Old Dairy
Thomas Robinson Architects
Winner: Sustainability Award
This project involved the conversion of two semi-derelict farm buildings. Through sensitive space planning, selection of materials and extension, two luxury, wheelchair accessible, self-catering holiday lets have been formed. The two buildings that have been converted were the former stone dairy and adjoining brick rendered byre.
The design was developed with strong sustainable principles beginning with the re-use of the existing structures. The simple modest form, shell and character of the buildings have been maintained, and views of the surrounding countryside have been optimised. Fenestration has been treated as it would be in an outbuilding or stabling. Existing materials have been retained and re-used where ever possible. Modern materials like larch cladding were adopted in the extension and were selected to compliment the traditional materials, and to tie in with the new house previously built on the smallholding.
The design makes use of natural light, passive solar gain and has a high thermal efficiency. The construction methods employed breathable materials. The U-values of the building elements exceed the building standards and the construction achieves a Silver Level under the Association of Environmentally Conscious Builders’ Standards. The careful detailing of the building’s envelope and care and attention paid by the contractor, achieved an air tightness test result of 1 m³/(h.m²) for the smaller unit and 2.11 m³/(h.m²) for the larger unit. Unit 1 meets the Passivhaus EnerPHit Standards for air tightness testing. Through the use of low carbon technologies (a ground source heat pump, solar photovoltaic roof panels and solar thermal roof panels), the units produce most of their energy on site.