Lighthouse Watford, UK
Lighthouse is the UK’s first net zero-carbon house that also meets Level 6 (the highest level) of the Code for Sustainable Homes. The heart of the concept for this prototype is the ambition to create homes where the innovative environmental systems and construction methods do not compromise the quality of the occupants’ life, but add to it – creating adaptable, flexible spaces designed for sustainable modern living. It is a 93m², two-and-a-half-storey, 2-bedroom house, designed in line with Lifetime Homes and Housing Quality Indicators.
The structure is a simple, barn-like form, derived from a 40° roof accommodating a PV array. The sweeping roof envelops the central space – a generous, open-plan, top-lit, double-height living area, with the sleeping accommodation at ground level. The living space uses a timber portal structure so floors can be slotted between frames or left open as required. At ground level, a timber frame structural layout carries the vertical loads of the open-plan frames above and provides stability to the load-bearing shear walls. Stability is achieved through the moment connections at first floor and ceiling level. It is constructed using Kingspan Off-Site’s TEK Building System – a high performance SIPS (structurally insulated panel based system).
To achieve Level 6 there is a mandatory heat loss parameter which demands high U-values for the building fabric, thus the Lighthouse’s ratio of glazing to wall is 18%, as opposed to 25-30% in traditional houses. This drove the decision to locate the living space on the first floor, to maximise daylight and volume. Phase-changing material in the ceiling absorbs the room heat by changing from solid to liquid within microscopic capsules embedded in the board. This process is reversed when the room is cooled with the night air, working with the passive system of the wind-catcher.
- Kingspan Metl-Con
- 93 m2
- British Construction Industry Awards - Shortlisted
- British Homes Awards - Winner
- Building Services Awards - Winner
- RICS SouthEast Awards - Winner
- Well-Tech Awards - Shortlisted