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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,Prefab Housing,Sustainable Building | 3 Comments

bere architects, focus house, north london prefab, timber, zinc cladding, grand designs, riba london region award, prefabricated housing, prefabricated buildings, focus1.jpg [1]

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 [2], the firm behind the design, used PassivHaus [3] 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.


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Made in Austria [4] and then transported to London in kit form, the building is formed of KLH [5]UK [6] solid timber panels, clad in zinc paneling. Not only is timber a less carbon-intensive [7] 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 [8] 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 [9].

We’re not the only one that thinks Focus House is an outstanding design. Grand Designs Awards [10] presented it with ‘Best Eco House’, and RIBA [11] felt it worthy of its London Region Award.

+ Bere Architects [2]
+ PassivHaus [3]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/prefab-focus-house-for-london/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/05/23/prefab-focus-house-for-london/

[2] Bere Architects: http://www.bere.co.uk/

[3] PassivHaus: http://www.passivhaus.org.uk/

[4] Austria: http://www.trycards.com/calling-cards/Australia

[5] KLH : http://www.klhuk.com/

[6] UK: http://www.trycards.com/calling-cards/UK

[7] less carbon-intensive: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/04/21/australias-most-sustainable-development-by-foster-nouvel/

[8] heat recovery ventilation: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/03/31/grand-rapids-art-museum/

[9] outdoor seating space: http://www.dse-outdoors.com/

[10] Grand Designs Awards: http://www.granddesignsawards.com

[11] RIBA: http://www.ribafind.org/

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