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Work to start on Baca's £7m ‘scientific’ Passivhaus rural home

London-based Baca Architects is set to start on with its proposed an ‘Arts and Technology’ Passivhaus outside Nottingham

The 1,490m² partly submerged scheme, dubbed ‘Serenity’ is designed as a ‘modern reconstruction of the grand 18th century country house’.

The plan, arranged in four wings, is laid out in a curve to follow the path of the sun.

The spaces, which include a home cinema, games room, music pod, office, and swimming pool are arranged in a loop around a central sunken courtyard and garden.

A ‘sweeping and undulating’ roof is clad in ceramic tiles and photovoltaic panels generating the majority of the power required to run the house.

The £7million house sits in a conservation area on the site of an existing building. Planners applied the ‘spirit of PPS7’ as a justification for the demolition of the existing building.

The scheme won planning in July 2013 and the scheme, which is out to tender this month, is expected to take up to two years to build.  

Baca's £7million Passivhaus in Nottingham

The architect’s view

‘Serenity represents a huge leap forward in architectural terms. The property has been developed using scientific thinking in a concerted bid to harness the natural energy resources found in the sun, ground and water. 

‘We rejected all the traditional architectural modelling tools usually employed in housing design and started from a completely different perspective.  Serenity delivers a new environmental standard and marks a step change for house design, which we believe, in time, will be recognised as the Arts &Technology period. Several of the eco technologies used here are suitable for mass adoption and could be used to greatly enhance sustainable housing development generally. It is truly a house for the digital age.’


Project data

Location Nottingham 
Type of project house 
Architect Baca
Structural engineer Elliott Wood
Environmental engineer Kaizenge and Mott MacDonald
Passivhaus consultant Etude
Planning date July 2013
Tender date August 2014
Budget £7million
Gross internal floor area 1,490m²
Specific environmental targets Passivhaus

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