The most noticeable feature of the first certified passive house in England is its 20-meter roof. The building has a vault made of timber as its roof thereby employing the state-of-the-art design. This parabolic roof requires no added support and reduces material use. This unique building located on the countryside of Staplehurst, Kent is designed by Architect Richard Hawke.
The timbrel vault construction is a classical building technique that has been largely forgotten since the onset of modern high-strength materials.
The roof features a layer of 26,000 locally handmade clay tiles mortared together to make a supporting web. Apart from this, it also features greenery on the top of the roof.
This helps regulate the home’s interior temperature, and the home’s rounded shape reduces exterior surface area which in turn saves energy.
The design also has incorporated triple-pane windows to help heat the internal thermal mass. It has vacuum exterior door for foam insulation.
The building employs a HRV to provide fresh air, and the home supplements passive heating strategies with a biomass boiler.
A combination solar-electric and solar hot water array provides the home with ample supplies of renewable energy.
Phase Change Materials (PCM) in the house effectively store heat in the winter and regulate heat in the summer.
The rest of the walls are insulated with cellulose, or shredded newspaper. The home harvests roof water for use indoors as well.
The design provides many solutions to keep away the chilling climate. The other aspects that exhibit sustainable design include a recycled glass bath floor and recycled tire matting.
A rating has been given for the 3000 square-foot home for its Energy Performance Certificate (EPCs).