Larch House: Soft Landings winter workshop

bere:architects & C.Zografou

At the end of their first winter the residents of the Larch House are still in love with their house and reflect on how well it performs compared to ordinary houses.

The key findings of the monitoring were that there is an electricity usage spike in the early evening on the cooker submeter, which is due to cooking the family meal; a daily ritual. It was revealing that this contrasts against the national average, where cooking does not result in a significant spike in energy usage. This may be because many people in the UK cook with gas, thereby reducing the impact on average national electricity usage. The absence of an evening mealtime spike in UK average figures may also be indicative of the widespread use of prepared meals, or eating take-aways, or a wide spread of mealtimes.

The solar water heating continues to be problematic due to poor quality plumbing which has leaked in all the houses plumbed by the same local plumber, including a catastrophic leak in the Welsh School of Architecture's Ty Unnos house nearby. In my view plumbing quality needs much tighter regulation in the UK.