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Paul Testa wins planning for £200k Sheffield Passivhaus

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Sheffield-based Paul Testa Architecture has won planning for this Passivhaus on a wooded hill in South Yorkshire 


The 140m2 two-storey home will be ’carved’ into the steep hillside in Bradway, south of Sheffield.

The £200,000 building’s ground floor masonry structure will be created from the site’s boundary wall with its second storey designed as a lightweight timber element.

Bedrooms are housed in the lower masonry space while the living rooms sit above allowing them views out across the valley.

Paul Testa Architecture's Sheffield Passivhaus

Paul Testa Architecture’s Sheffield Passivhaus


Architect’s view 

The site is a tough one; it’s a steep, wooded plot, steeper than is typical, even for Sheffield; a large proportion of the site area is covered by a tree protection order for the woodland’s landscape value and there are significant overlooking issues into or from the existing dwelling dependent on where a new building is sited. 

We decided to position the new house on the lower portion of the site in the spot where the hens currently live, hence the project name. Access off the road is simple, they can still take advantage of the generous views down the valley to the moors beyond and we can limit our impact on the most significant trees on the site. 

Whilst the project has changed significantly over the design process, the primary ideas have remained. To create a solid masonry base that belongs to, and accommodates, the steep site slope starting as a slim plinth at driveway level ending at 1.5 storeys high at its peak. This contains the bedrooms and other support spaces, whilst the main daytime living accommodation all sits within a lighter weight timber framed and clad enclosure sat on top. The slim building is oriented towards the west and the amazing views; this allows the windows to the north and south to be minimal and less about views than daylight. Slim rooflights set between the internally exposed timber structure complete a light spacious volume. 

Paul Testa Architecture's Sheffield Passivhaus

Paul Testa Architecture’s Sheffield Passivhaus

Project data

Location Bradway, Sheffield
Type of project house
Client private
Architect Paul Testa Architecture
Planning consultant Susan Crowley Associates
Structural engineer Jon Carr Structural Design
M&E consultant MVHR by green building store
Funding private
Tender date Spring 2016
Start on site date Autumn 2016
Completion date 2017
Gross internal floor area 140m2
Form of contract and/or procurement Traditional
Total cost £200,000

Paul Testa Architecture's Sheffield Passivhaus

Paul Testa Architecture’s Sheffield Passivhaus

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