LocationGloucestershire, United Kingdom
PhotographsCourtesy of Paul Archer Design
From the architect. Green Orchard is a new 200 sq m carbon neutral house designed by Paul Archer Design. Set within 2,675 sq m of landscaped gardens in the green belt of South Gloucestershire, the house benefits from spectacular views over the Severn Estuary.
The project brief called for a Californian case study house with green credentials, which would permit seamless outdoor/indoor living whilst delivering a zero carbon agenda.
The house replaces a dilapidated single-storey dwelling with a contemporary low-rise four- bedroom home. Maximising its rural setting, Green Orchard is designed in the round, with all four elevations taking advantage of views out and access to the garden.
The exterior is clad in an intelligent skin of bespoke full-height panels, which are electronically motorised to slide open fully. The panels are highly insulated and allow the occupants to control and vary the thermal performance of the house depending on the time of the day and year. An aluminium coating reflects the surrounding gardens ensuring that the house recedes into its setting.
The house and landscape have been designed with specific intention to reduce the consumption and requirement for energy: a wood-burning Stuv stove is the only heat source; water is supplied by a 93 metre bore hole; thermal solar panels on the roof yield heating for 80% of the house’s water; and photovoltaics provide all electric use when taken over the yearly cycle.
Whilst unashamedly contemporary in its design, harnessing the latest in green technology, Green Orchard is a sensitive response to its location, integrating appropriate materials and functional details to create an innovative and tangible solution to current environmental issues, and presenting a way forward in designing for a sustainable future.