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Green light for Guy Taylor's 'zero energy' home

Amended cgi moat house

A ‘zero energy’ home in Baxterley, Warwickshire, designed by Guy Taylor Associates has received planning permission 

According to the Newark-based practice, the 400m² four-bed house is aiming to become the UK’s first Passivhaus Premium certified building, meaning that it will produce a net energy surplus using renewables on the site.

The zero-energy home, to be called the Moat House, will be built near a historic double moat and the Grade II-listed, 12th-century Baxterley church.

Plans include a number of ‘passive design techniques’, such as a Trombe Wall, which collects solar energy on the winter sun side of a building. The external walls and roof will be made using prefabricated straw-bale panels clad in cedar shingles.

Chris Rodgers, director of Guy Taylor Associates, said: ‘This is an interesting case study for becoming unreliant on the [national] grid, particularly for housing in rural environments where supplies can be limited.

‘Although this is a first-of-its-kind, bespoke house, the sustainability strategy can be packaged up, it’s fully scalable and it can be retrofitted.’

Work is expected to start on site in November this year, with completion scheduled for April 2017. 

View the planning application here 

Architects’ view

The concept for the plan has been driven by an adjacent double-moated site, which resembles a figure of 8, containing a smaller and larger square-shaped moat. The proposed roofscape appears over the hedge line as two organic mounds of timber shingle that blend with the surrounding landscape.

The environmental strategy for the house works by zoning the accommodation into living areas, sunspaces and unheated spaces. Sunspaces and unheated spaces create a thermal buffer between the living areas and outside. We use traditional passive heating and cooling mechanisms such as a Trombe wall and then stitch that natural science to the Passivhaus model. Electricity for appliances, water heating and charging the car is provided via on-site PV with a battery store.


Concept line elevations moat house

Concept line elevations moat house

Source: Guy Taylor Associates

Concept line elevations

Project data

Location Baxterley, Warwickshire
Type of project  New-build four-bed dwelling
Client Gerald Leedham
Architect Guy Taylor Associates
Landscape architect Guy Taylor Associates
Local Authority North Warwickshire Borough Council
Planning consultant Guy Taylor Associates
Sustainability Consultants Ecospheric
Main contractor J&C Enterprises
Start on site date November 2016
Completion date April 2017
Contract duration 5 months
Gross internal floor area 400m²
Form of contract and/or procurement JCT intermediate


Readers' comments (2)

  • Has a calculation been made to see how much carbon has been used in the production of the house. If so, at which point in the houses life will it genuinely be in credit ( so to speak)?

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  • 400m2...sustainable! Thats a perversion of the term

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