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House Ainsworth Hales

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House Ainsworth Hales

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House Ainsworth Hales, Hertfordshire

 

eco-friendly home

 
Background
"We needed to move due to an expanding family, and a plot of land came up for sale in the area we wanted to live, it was too good to miss so we bought the land and started our journey. Firstly we had to decide what we wanted to build and ended up with this brief: an eco-friendly, family house, designed by ourselves, project managed by people with a great deal more experience than us!
We looked at a lot of different companies and then we came across Baufritz, they seemed to encapsulate everything we required. Their energy efficient bespoke houses could deliver everything we wanted and to a timescale we required. They also had a lot of knowledge regarding the latest green technologies that were an essential element in our build."
Kacey Ainsworth
 
Known for her roles as Little Mo in EastEnders and Inspector Jenny Black in HolbyBlue, Kacey wanted to build an eco-friendly home with her partner Darren but was determined not to live in a box, preferring instead to have a much more distinctive looking building with architectural flair.
 
Kacey and Darren came to Baufritz with some outline plans from another architect, but they weren't completely satisfied as the geometry of the building did not work well and the room layouts did not fulfil their needs. They asked Baufritz to re-design the house to improve the layout and amend the shape from that of a crescent to that of an orange segment!
 
The couple wanted to have a home with a high quality finish that has the principles of health and ecology at its core. With a new baby on the way it was vital that they find a reliable building partner that could deliver within their timescale and budget and they felt that Baufritz was the only company that could meet all their criteria.
 
Kacey and Darren demolished their bungalow on the site to make way for their new eco-home. The result is a unique 170m² 4-bedroom property with two curved external radial walls. It is the most energy efficient house we have built so far in the UK, consuming the equivalent of only 3 litres of heating oil per square metre per annum, compared to 25 litres/m² in a typical UK house. This is achieved as a result of the highly energy efficient Baufritz walls which have a U-value of only 0.16 W/m²K combined with an efficient wood pellet heating system.
 
The house is, quite literally, the shape of an orange segment, flat on one side with two inter-linking radial curves on the other. The larger curve is rendered in off-white and the smaller of the two is clad in larch. A plant room extends to the rear of the building and follows the curve of the building. There is a balcony at each corner to capture the morning and evening sun. The windows are triple glazed with a timber frame and the exterior sills are aluminium powder coated in grey. The house has been built on top of a concrete foundation slab that was constructed by Baufritz's partner company, Glatthaar, Europe's No 1 basement builders. The shell of the building took just two days to assemble and the building will be complete in July 2008.
 
On the ground floor there is a WC and cloakroom, a large 51m² open-plan lounge and kitchen/ diner, children's playroom and an office. Off the ground floor there is a plant room which will house the wood pellet boiler and water tank as well as acting as a utility room. Upstairs is a master bedroom with dressing room and en-suite bathroom, three further bedrooms and a family bathroom. The house has wooden beech floors downstairs and sisal carpets upstairs. There is under-floor heating on the ground floor with radiators upstairs.
 
Electrics – Cat 5 data cabling.
 
Heating – Kacey and Darren will have a sustainable and super-efficient wood pellet boiler system. There is under-floor heating on the ground floor and in all the bathroom and there are radiators in all the other rooms.. The couple will install solar panels on the flat roof at a later date.
 
Ventilation – To ensure that they enjoy consistently good air quality and to save valuable heating energy through heat recovery, Baufritz installed 6 decentralised reverse fans (LTMs) with heat recovery in various locations throughout the house. The LTM extracts warm air from the room, passes it through the heat exchanger and the heat extracted from the air is stored in the unit. The fan changes direction and fresh air brought in from outside passes through the unit and is warmed by the stored heat before entering the room. In warm weather the effect is reversed, thus cooling the warmer outside air before it enters the house. The LTM units can be controlled from a central location, thus optimising performance.