Gresford Architects recently completed this stunning countryside residence in the Berkshire village of the Old Water Tower. The property, certified as Passivhaus, uses natural methods of heating and cooling, rather than relying on electrical systems.
However, despite the fact the property is designed to be fully self-sufficient, architects were keen for the property to maintain the look and feel of a 'normal' home, along with ensuring the building fitted in with its rural surroundings.
Gresford Architects explain how "the house is conceived as a modern interpretation of the timber-framed barns in the area, that when seen from the distance reads as a simple, traditional, agricultural building. But, on closer inspection it reveals itself as a crisply designed, carefully made, contemporary interpretation of the historic buildings it draws inspiration from."
As you can see, the building is two storeys high, with a gabled roof and a facade of black-stained timber weatherboarding, along with tripe-glazed windows to prevent heat loss. "The triple-glazed windows are openable, debunking the Passivhaus myth that the house must always be closed," said Gresford Architects. "External blinds are automatically deployed on the east, south and west elevations when the internal temperature of the house reaches 21 degrees, thus reducing the chance of overheating."
Along with stopping the sun’s incoming solar heat radiation even reaching the glazing, providing an eco-friendly alterative to air conditioning, external blinds effectively diffuse light to prevent glare and filter damaging ultraviolet rays, ensuring a healthy interior space that can be used to its full potential 365 days a year.
Gresford Architects emphasise how "the house is as easy to live in as any normal home, yet costs virtually nothing to run and could be entirely self-reliant if a suitable number of photovoltaic and solar thermal panels were fitted to the roof.”
As you can see, external roller blinds play a fundamental role in the design of a Passivhaus property, and seamlessly compliment their environment, both in terms of their sleek design and energy-efficient properties.
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If you would like to find out more about how our solar shading systems could enhance your home, complete our quick enquiry form here and one of our specialists will call you back to discuss your requirements in greater detail.