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PREFAB FRIDAY: Focus House in London by BERE Architects
Posted By Cate Trotter On May 23, 2008 @ 5:03 am In Architecture,Green Building,Prefab Housing | 3 Comments
Added to an end-of-terrace house in North London, Focus House is a delightful prefabricated eco-home for a family of five. Bere Architects , the firm behind the design, used PassivHaus  principles to inform their process. The world’s leading energy efficiency standard, Passivhaus recognizes buildings that are so energy efficient all they need is a small electric heater. Focus House is a unique design that embodies the prefab principles of waste reduction and efficiency, and raises the bar on energy-efficient building design.
Made in Austria  and then transported to London in kit form, the building is formed of KLH UK  solid timber panels, clad in zinc paneling. Not only is timber a less carbon-intensive  material than concrete, it was cheaper and quicker to construct, taking a week to build for a cost of £50,000. The timber also helps to stabilize the building’s temperature, further reducing energy requirements .
Incoming air is warmed using waste heat from the bathroom, and a solar heater provides half of the building’s hot water requirements. But despite great ambition, the building doesn’t quite achieve PassivHaus standards. Although windows use a heat recovery ventilation  system, they didn’t meet the PassivHaus triple glazing requirements. Still, the energy efficiency of this home stands as an example for low-impact living.
Measuring only 2.8m wide at the front, it’s hard to believe five people can live comfortably in the space. But with a glance at the back of the Focus House, you’ll see it widens to a swinging 7m, as well as offering a delightful garden and outdoor seating space.
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/prefab-focus-house-for-london/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/05/23/prefab-focus-house-for-london/
 Bere Architects: http://www.bere.co.uk/
 PassivHaus: http://www.passivhaus.org.uk/
 Austria: http://www.trycards.com/calling-cards/Australia
 KLH : http://www.klhuk.com/
 UK: http://www.trycards.com/calling-cards/UK
 less carbon-intensive: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/04/21/australias-most-sustainable-development-by-foster-nouvel/
 reducing energy requirements: http://www.bearflag.org/tag/renewable-energy/
 heat recovery ventilation: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/03/31/grand-rapids-art-museum/
 Grand Designs Awards: http://www.granddesignsawards.com
 RIBA: http://www.ribafind.org/
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