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No.1 Short Street

Bourn, Cambridge, UK



We were appointed to provide our client with a new house, replacing an existing bungalow. The site, within its central village and conservation area location, posed a high number of scale & orientation constraints.

The client wished to have a contemporary styled house, of the 21st Century, taking into consideration, specifically, Life Time Home & Passive House standards. The scale of the house relates to its context by limiting its height to remain the same as the previous bungalow. This building proposal mediates between the lower lying, No.22 High Street and the much elevated Village Hall to the South-West. This retains a steady progression, physically, from the smaller building to the larger one as you travel up Short Street from the High Street. The site is to be re-landscaped to enable level access, front & back, with easy means of entry directly from the street. Additionally, this lowering of the back garden amenity space provides the inhabitants with an increased level of privacy. Internally the open plan ‘living room’ is designed to enable simple future conversion into a ground floor bedroom space, when and as the need arises.

The orientation of the house, front to back, lends itself to being truly sustainable. The rear elevation faces South-East, so captures all-day sunshine. The design of the house, with its large, full height window and door apertures, is aimed to maximise natural daylight and solar gain to reduce the need for the use of artificial and energy dependant heating and lighting. This combined with low building fabric U-values, high levels of insulation, air tightness and an air source heat pump, main heating system, provides a house that is truly sustainable. With Passive house principles at the fore of the design brief, to maximise energy gains and minimise energy losses through the use and integration of sustainable technology, this building will easily hit carbon neutral calculations.

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