Hewitt Studios recently completed the Eco-House in Limpley Stoke Valley using local and low-carbon materials. Locally-sourced straw bale wall panels offer breathable carbon negative insulation. Carbon sequestering FSC-certified timber was used as the primary structural and cladding material, and all the concrete contains recycled fly ash.
A tightly sealed envelope minimizes energy losses, while a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) system provides fresh air and energy-efficient climate control. During more temperate months, the MVHR system can be bypassed in favor of natural ventilation from prevailing breezes, and hot air can be vented out clerestory windows. The home takes advantage of active and passive strategies, high thermal mass, and shading to make the most of the sun’s energy. Rainwater is harvested from the roof and used to irrigate a sedum roof, an edible herb and vegetable garden, and a grassland with bat and dormouse boxes to encourage biodiversity.
An EV charging station is located at the front of the property for the owner’s BMW i3 electric car. Finally, a brise-sole on the front edge of the building features an integrated 2 kW PV system that provides electricity for the house and the car. For more of Hewitt Studios’ work, check out their low-impact straw bale cafe.
Images Courtesy of Hewitt Studios