Lancashire, United Kingdom – Proctor & Shaw
Built Area: 135.0 m2
Year Built: 2017
Photographs: David Millington Photography Ltd
Zinc House is an impressive prefabricated country home built on a four-acre plot in North West England. Its design combines the charm of a traditional farmhouse with sleek, modern aesthetics. One important aspect of the house is that it boasts of a remarkably small carbon footprint.
The two-story structure features three bedrooms, with a base made from hand-laid bricks. Two gabled volumes at the side give the house a modern touch. They’re covered in zinc finish. Box windows provide easy access to the surrounding views – a stunning orchard and a sprawling farmland as far as the eyes can see.
Inside, the house has an open plan layout, with interconnected living spaces. The interiors were designed with flexibility in mind. With this, the homeowners can easily reconfigure the spaces to meet their needs.
More than just aesthetics, Zinc House has strategic passive and active sustainability features. It is energy efficient, making use of quality insulation reducing energy cost and expenditure. There’s also a ground source heat pump for heating and additional electricity. Large solar panels were installed on one of the roofs.
Notes from the Architect:
This 3 bedroom new build family house is set in 4 acres at the edge of a Lancashire village. The brief required a house that was laid out over 2 storeys but could accommodate lifetime homes standards for ground floor living, and whilst open plan in layout could retain the function of accommodating distinct rooms.
In response, a series of interconnecting living spaces link though disappearing corner sliding door sets to create the illusion of an entirely open plan ground floor, that opens on three sides to outdoor garden ‘rooms’ that capture light at different times of the day.
A second storey adds a master bedroom suite with framed views of the hills beyond.
The house achieves an extremely low carbon footprint, with an all timber structure and a highly efficient envelope, supported by a 3.2kW solar PV array and ground source heat pump to provide for heating and electricity needs with almost no net running costs.
The entirely pre-fabricated cross laminated timber (CLT) structure arrived on site on one lorry and was erected in three days. A masonry plinth of handmade brick provides support for two gabled volumes clad in contrasting standing seam zinc finishes, one elevated and the other grounded, and linked by a planar sedum flat roof structure. The ‘townside’ gables are simply expressed in monolithic form, whereas the ‘countryside’ gables are punctuated with large projecting box seat windows overlooking a re-instated orchard with farmland beyond.
The design required a complicated and committed route through the planning process due to ‘backland development’ and ‘edge of green belt’ concerns raised by the planning authority, but these were satisfactorily overcome.
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