Bear Place Passivhaus


This conversion of a 1970s brick agricultural building will create a new 450 square metre house on a farm in the green belt in rural Berkshire. The 38 x 11m barn occupies the northern edge of a cluster of 20th Century red-brick and concrete farm buildings. The house would be raised off the ground to benefit from solar gain over the roofs to the south and to give views over a young woodland to the north. The space below would continue to be used for agricultural storage.

In September 2016 we applied to Wokingham Borough Council and established that prior approval is not required under Class Q of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 for conversion of the building to a residential dwelling. While it is possible to build a house within the existing envelope of the barn, the space beneath would be somewhat compromised by a low ceiling height and it would be difficult to eliminate thermal bridging to the extent required to achieve Passivhaus standard using the existing structure. By altering the roof profile and by building a new structure inside the existing brick walls a better design can be achieved. We are currently working towards submitting a planning application for this improved design.