‘Low Energy House’ by Architecture for London
architecture for london has recently extended and refurbished an edwardian terraced residence to create the ‘low energy house‘ in muswell hill, london. through insulation, triple-glazing, and improved airtightness, this project dramatically reduces energy requirements while celebrating and revealing the building’s original and modest charm.
all images © lorenzo zandri and christian brailey
an exemplar for sustainable refurbishment of terraced homes
as the home of ben ridley, director at architecture for london, the ‘low energy house’ aims to be an exemplar for the sustainable refurbishment of a typical terraced dwelling in the city, with a constrained budget .‘both embodied energy and energy in-use have been considered in depth,‘ reveals the team.
the final design, therefore, includes timber structure, triple glazing, and a continuous airtight layer and insulation to the entire building envelope. walls were also insulated externally at the side and rear and internally at the front with wood fiber to preserve the edwardian facade. meanwhile, masonry nib walls were retained on the ground floor to avoid energy-intensive steel box frames.
view of the low energy house in london, from the garden
high-standard insulation meets natural materials
the rear extension was built in highly insulated 172mm SIPS, and all existing building elements achieved a passivhaus standard U-value of 0.15 or better. an MVHR system provides pre-heated fresh air, creating a warm and comfortable home. the system also filters the incoming air, removing pollen, diesel particulates, and NOx to create a healthy indoor environment.
materials wise, rather than using cement-based products, the team opted for natural materials like stone, timber, and lime plaster throughout the house — giving it an overall warmer and more intimate character.