Low carbon architecture for a Passivhaus design


Gorefield, Wisbech

A contemporary interpretation of a barn development is located outside the established settlement of Gorefield


 An intelligently designed, Passivhaus certified development in Gorefield, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire


To combine both Passive and Active Design strategies to create a contemporary interpretation of a barn style two-storey dwelling.


The proposal through its landscaping scheme seeks to retain and enhance the site’s biodiversity. This is achieved by: 

  • retaining the existing native boundary hedgerows and many trees – providing habitat corridors 

  • planting of a coppice an orchard we well as numerous screen trees of varying varieties 

  • provision of owl and bat boxes around the site 

  • introduction of a pond to deal with the sites rainwater and increase the biodiversity

Materials used

  • walls – reclaimed red facing bricks 

  • walls – cedar cladding 

  • roof – aluminium standing seam with amorphous silicone photovoltaic to the South elevation. 

  • roof – natural slate to the subservient gable to reflect its more traditional nature and neighbouring properties.  

  • windows – the windows will be triple glazed providing a U-value as low as 0.6W/m2K. Aluminium framed to reduce future maintenance, thermal bridges and to provide a higher quality solution than the prevalent UPVC windows in the area. 

The Full Story

Our client came to us with a passion for developing a low-carbon dwelling.

The plan, to design a two-storey five-bed dwelling with car port and associated poly tunnel, wood store/potting shed, green house and chicken coop and formation of pond/reed bed for land west of Pear Tree House, High Side Fronting Black Lane, Gorefield. 

Located off an unclassified road Black Lane which is situated outside the established settlement of Gorefield. The site is located within the open countryside and previously functioned as agricultural land.

The intention is to provide as many of the facilities as possible on-site to enable our client to attempt to achieve autonomy over her food, energy and sewage, increase biodiversity, enhance the street scene and to significantly reduce her water consumption. This approach will ensure that the client’s carbon emissions and footprint in relation to both the dwelling and her lifestyle are truly minimised.

Creating biodiversity from natural landscaping

As mentioned in the history of this proposal, the existing landscaping will retain the boundary hedges and trees, in addition to that the landscaping is informed by the desire to be as autonomous as possible with allotments, chicken coop, poly tunnels, potting sheds, compost areas, orchards and a willow coppice for fuel. 

Furthermore, the intended shelter planting and the introduction of a pond/reed bed will increase and enhance the sites biodiversity.

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