What is the true environmental impact of low-energy homes? PAD Studio has answered that question with the completion of a 10-year study on New Forest House. The results are stunning.
A 10-year study of this low-energy home shows exactly what’s possible when nature and mankind learn to coexist. The results of the study show that New Forest House is 97% less expensive to run than a home built to 2021 building standards. But that’s not all. The house has used 110% less energy, compared to a home powered by gas.
New Forest House is a five-bedroom home that is literally in a forest, the New Forest National Park. Built in timber, the house has a simple design because nature provides such an incredible backdrop, it’s impossible to compete with. The home has a natural swimming hole and a self-contained guest annex.
The glazed elevations have timber louver shutters to maximize solar gain. Everything is topped with green roofing. The home has high levels of insulation to create a tight envelope. In fact, the building is completely sealed and airtight. That’s to hold in the heat from the ground source heat pump, which has a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system. There are solar panels, thermal panels to heat water and a rainwater harvesting system. Additionally, New Forest House is a net-zero home with CO2 emissions ranging from -2.46 to -0.76 annually.
The owners specifically wanted a home that was made to live within the landscape and support the natural world. The green roof is an ecological habitat. The swimming pond is a place for birds and insects to gather, including the protected kingfisher.
New Forest House is a beautiful addition to the forest, nestled in the trees and surrounded by native grasses. Indoor and outdoor living spaces blend together beautifully. Studying this house shows that people can live in harmony with nature without doing any harm to it.
Photography by Richard Chivers