Dundon Passivhaus

Somerset
Completed: 2013
Construction cost:  £500,000
Structural Engineer:  Structural Solutions

Set at the foot of a wooded hill the house is designed to take best advantage of fantastic views across the Somerset levels.  Different rooms relate directly to distinct areas of the garden creating an experiential richness that extends the domain of the interior into the surrounding landscape.  The house has been built to Passivhaus standard which means it achieves very high levels of insulation and air-tightness.  The wall construction is vapour permeable to moderate humidity and create a healthy internal atmosphere.  A mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery provides constant fresh air throughout the colder months when it is undesirable to open the windows.

By digging the lower floor into the hillside planning permission was gained for a 2 storey house that is only marginally taller than the bungalow it replaced.  Its form relates to nearby agricultural buildings rather than the suburban houses in the village.  A gently sloping roof extends beyond the building envelope on three sides to create sheltered outdoor spaces that blur the distinction between house and garden.  This welcoming, sheltering gesture works in harmony with the energy strategy by providing summer shading to the large windows.  Green oak posts support the roof, tied back to the main timber-framed structure which is also clad in green oak that will patinate and weather over time.  Internally the rooms are lined in planed oak or painted plywood, a more refined version of the characterful external cladding.

AWARDS

RIBA National Award 2015 – Winner

RIBA Regional Award 2015 (Southwest) – Winner

Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Awards 2015, Best Eco House – Winner

Wood Awards 2015, Private – Runner up

Passivhaus Awards 2015 - Runner up

Structural Timber Awards 2015, Best private housing project – Highly Commended

Press

Michael Holmes, ‘A Triumph in Timber’, Homebuilding and Renovating - January 2016, p91
Feargal Doyle et al., ‘House in Dundon’, DETAIL Green - January 2016, p10-11
Jason Orme, ‘Award-winning homes that are built by you’, The Daily Telegraph - 5th September 2015, p3
Graham Bizley,‘Architecture: Dundon Passivhaus, Somerset, Prewett Bizley Architects‘, The Sunday Times - 21st June 2015, p22
Graham Bizley, ‘Case Study: Dundon Passivhaus Prewett Bizley Architects‘, The Architects’ Journal - 24 April 2015, p30-33
Architecture Today plc, ‘Prewett Bizley Architects: Dundon Passivhaus’, Inhabit - Architecture Today - February 2015, p2-5