If comfort is key in your dream home, you’ll love this passive solar home in Cambridge. Designed by Mole Architects, the Cavendish Avenue house boasts a minimal energy footprint, relying on smart design to keep comfortable temperatures year round without any help from central heating. Built to Passivhaus standards, the four-person home sports a playful exterior that contrasts a shingle-clad front room with beautiful glass frontage.
The Cavendish Avenue house boasts a striking contemporary aesthetic that’s still modest enough to fit in with its Victorian and Edwardian-style neighbors. The three-story, 5-bedroom detached home was constructed from a frame of cross-laminated timber panels supported by glu-laminated beams and columns. The front of the home, which faces north, is mostly clad in a semi-reflective patterned glass rainscreen that’s playfully contrasted with a smaller cedar shingled volume. “The origins of the design come from early discussions with the clients, whose concerns were apparently opposing,” writes Mole Architects. “On the one hand a wish for order and symmetry, and on the other a striking piece of contemporary design.”
To minimize its energy footprint, the home features large garden windows on the south side that absorb heat and light. External sail shades prevent solar heat gain in the summer, while the dark basalt floor tiles, concrete floors, and timber frame serve as thermal heat sinks that dissipate stored heat at night. A ground-source heat pump provides hot water and the little heating that’s needed from two 70-meter-deep boreholes in the front garden that transfer energy to an underfloor heating system. The building meets the stringent German Passivhaus standards and uses less than 15 kWh/sqm for space heating.
Images via Mole Architects