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Zero Carbon House, by John Christophers

MANSER MEDAL SHORTLIST: John Christophers has transformed an existing end-of-terrace Birmingham house into a ground-breaking carbon-neutral family home of rare quality

Past winner of the RIBA Sustainability Award for a house made of cob walls in Worcester, John Christophers has transformed an existing end-of-terrace Birmingham house into a ground-breaking carbon-neutral family home of rare quality, using low energy materials and environmental systems. It is the first UK retrofit house to achieve Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

John Christophers, also an associate of Associated Architects, Birmingham converted and extended the two-bedroom red brick semi-detached Victorian house into a four-bedroom dwelling with a studio loft. The original 1840 house is preserved more or less intact, though internally the volumes have been adjusted. The neighbours love it, particularly the cheery sunflowers in the front garden.

While externally its character is very different from the rest of the area, the property adds to the urban streetscape. Full of quirky, delightful and well-considered details it is a robust and thoughtful design of an exceptional standard. In its first nine months of occupation the energy performance has outstripped even John Christophers’ high expectations, proving energy-efficiency doesn’t mean compromising architectural space.

Credits

Architect John Christophers
Client John Christophers
Contractor Speller Metcalfe
Structural engineer Shire Consulting
Services engineer LEDA
Contract value £350,000
Date of completion November 2009
Gross internal area 204m2

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