Eco Vicarages

These schemes are a double first; the first homes in England to achieve the twin gold standards of environmental performance. Firstly, zero carbon (level 6) under the UK Code for Sustainable Homes, measuring holistic sustainability across nine criteria, including energy, water use, site ecology, etc. Secondly, Passivhaus accreditation. This is a radical German standard with demanding targets for very low energy usage.

The designs, for a series of new Vicarages across the Diocese of Worcester, organise principal rooms in a south-facing range (served) with stairs, bathrooms and plant to the north (servant).

Accommodation includes vicar’s study, living room, kitchen/dining, family room and four bedrooms. The varying building designs (two and three storeys) and materials (render, brick and timber) reflect differing sites, but apply the same design principles.

The served rooms have large south-facing windows to collect winter sun, and to give excellent day-lighting throughout the year. In summer these are shaded with adjustable recessed blinds. Heavy construction throughout means the home heats up and cools down slowly to avoid extremes of temperature. Roofs have two types of solar panels: PV to generate electricity and thermal tubes for solar hot water. Blue-black slate tones with both the solar panels and its neighbours.

“A carbon-negative, electricity-generating, boiler-free marvel that can also claim to be the greenest home ever built in this country” – The Sunday Telegraph

Client: Church of England Diocese of Worcester
Project Value: £0.96m
Completion: 2011

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