Windsor Farm towards passivhaus


This new-build rural house near Windsor was designed as a passivhaus and in 2006 was destined to be the UK’s first certified passivhaus building.

The unobtrusive, traditional appearance was driven by the wishes of both the planners and the client, but at the same time, it also appears sleeker and more contemporary than other houses in the area. The result is an extremely comfortable, well insulated, triple glazed low energy rural house. We also masterplanned the site and designed all the outbuildings and polo stables. The swimming pool was designed to be heated by 21m2 of solar thermal panels.

Due to the large double-height internal spaces, this masonry and timber clad house is in fact built over a steel frame which is entirely supported upon thermal bridge isolators; the first time this German technique was used in the UK.

Bere:architects were not involved in the construction of the house as the building was self-built by the client using a construction manager that we introduced to the project. It is probably fair to say that neither the client nor the construction manager appreciated at the time how difficult it is to achieve the passivhaus standard for the first time. As a result, it did not succeed in achieving certification and can be described as one of the projects that took us towards Passivhaus.