New Earth Sheltered Dwelling in the grounds of an Old Rectory

Client: Private
Completed: 2012 

Budget: Undisclosed 

"The team at Allan Joyce Architects provided us with great support throughout the whole project. They took our ideas on board and added their vision, technical expertise and experience, to help create our fantastic home."

The clients approached Allan Joyce Architects to look at the possibility of an eco dwelling at the bottom of their garden.  The topography of the site enabled the design of an earth sheltered dwelling. This has the benefit of high insulation levels and it would minimise the impact on the existing Georgian Rectory and Grade II* Listed St Nicholas Church on the boundary. 

The house is fully glazed to the south, which maximisies passive solar gains via a 'sun space'.  A large overhang shades the dwelling in the hotter months, with clerestory windows helping to eject any unwanted heat.  The dwelling is insulated well in excess of Building Regulations and has been built extremely air tight.  It is earth sheltered on three sides and incorporates a sedum roof to enhance the view of the house from the first floor of the Old Rectory.  A log burner provides the primary heating source for the winter months in conjunction with a MVHR system (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery).  The clients are feeling the benefit of a constant ambient temperature, requiring very little additional heat beyond the incidental gains of occupation and passive gains from the sun.  They are now considering installing a photovoltaic array on the roof to pay for the minimal amount of electricity they use.

- Best Sustainable Project, LABC East Midlands Building Excellence Awards 2013