A single storey Passivhaus in the Highlands.

Architeco Glenfinnan Passivhaus sml

Two stepped volumes have their own individual treatment, one in timber and one in stone, responding to the topography with a striking geometric form. Every aspect of the building, from each stage of construction and build, through to the use and future potential has been carefully considered to make an efficient, warm, dry, light filled and beautifully practical building that fits in to the environment, whilst minimising impact on the wider environment.

A rural, exposed environment is greatly informed by the elements and there is robust detailing to suit. We have taken a fabric first approach and designed this to Passivhaus criteria.

The design makes use of natural resources. Orientation takes best advantage of solar gain. A veranda provides not only shelter from the rain, but also provides shading to help prevent overheating. PassivHaus detailing eliminates cold-bridging, while also inhibiting condensation and mould growth. A draft lobby forms an air-lock to avoid losing heat when entering, further protected by an entrance canopy. High performance windows complete the insulation envelope. Such moves add little to the development cost but help reduce the heating and lighting demands of the dwelling considerably.

The roof pitches of 10 and 15 degrees respectively to remain below the height of the adjacent rock outcrop. This solution allows a high level glazing strip to provide light to a deep plan (to a space which does not require direct views out) whilst creating additional solar gain from the South.

Fresh air is provided through a Mechanical Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit, circulating warmed external air and extracting stale internal air whilst open plan spaces and reduced internal partitions make best use of materials and also provide a spacious, light, living environment.

Energy modelling allowed this dwelling to achieve the PassivHaus Low Energy Standard and avoid overheating.