Inspired by the rich local vernacular of the countryside, the Ty Pren residence embraces passive sustainable techniques to keep its inhabitants content. The designers at Fielden Fowles made multiple site-visits to the Brecon Beacons Greenfield site in the village of Trallong in order to ensure the house makes the most of the site’s prevailing conditions. Extra care was taken in sourcing, and in the use, of materials for the façade and the roof. All the slate on the roof and the north facade are recycled scraps gathered from derelict buildings no longer in use; the untreated wood used for the remaining sides of the facade was locally sourced and milled on the client’s estate less than two miles away; and eight larch trees have been planted in advance to replace the cladding in 25 years, after which the old cladding will be burnt to heat the house.
The narrow width of the structure allows for passive ventilation of all the interior spaces while providing plenty of natural light throughout the day. Strategically placed sliding shutters on the south façade ensure that the building doesn’t overheat during the summer, while still letting in a cool breeze. Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) were used throughout to ensure a high level of insulation, and the required thermal mass to help store heat in the day and release it overnight during the winter months. In addition, an onsite Biodigestor recycled all water used on site to ensure its clean enough to drink.