When UK-based architecture firm Stride Treglown sat down to design their own office, they took on the challenge of creating the most sustainable building they could afford. The result is the earliest pre-emptive BREEAM Outstanding award conferred for any building. The prefabricated building features an efficient envelope that encourages a well-balanced synthesis of natural light and ventilation. A biomass boiler, green roof and solar panels help propel the design into the elite class of buildings that consume net zero energy.
When the firm first began to design their new office they were determined to maximize the building’s efficiency with the ultimate goal of zero net energy. Rather than relying on a lot of solar panels, the design utilizes a host of energy efficiency measures. The prefabricated wall system is based on a wooden timber cassette frame that provides deep pockets filled with cellulose insulation.
The green roof was designed to add thermal mass to regulate temperatures, and in the summer it helps cool the building. Carefully designed internal spaces can be naturally cooled with cross ventilation and night flush cooling. The same projection of the building’s roof that induces draft also acts as a light scoop, reflecting diffuse daylight into the offices. Southern windows are kept small, but the northern street-side windows are enlarged to provide more light without heat gain.