Mount Stewart Road

Wormit, Fife - ongoing

Passive House Project

Designed as a 'Passive House', this house sits on a superb sight overlooking the Tay esturary. The 'upside down' plan and expansive glazing provide majestic views from the public rooms. Project Summary

The house is half buried in a small disused quarry on Scotston Hill, its south elevation is extensively glazed to make the most of the views, the other external finishes are natural stone walls and a green sedum roof. Earth is then bunded against the house and over the garage and will be left to return to hillside rather than being planted as garden.

Inside the house has has a double height living space with mezzanine floor at its centre and a massive internal stone wall serving to mitigate some of the effects of solar gain by helping to maintain a steady internal temperature and as a visual continuation between inside and outside. There are two bedrooms at ground floor and two upstairs with bathrooms on both levels and a living room at first floor level with access to a balcony and terrace.

Technical Performance

Technically, the house is highly insulated with floor, wall and roof U-values of 0.13, 0.14 and 0.09 respectively and triple glazed windows with a U-value of 0.72. Careful attention has been paid to air tightness and avoiding cold bridges in detailing and on site in order to ensure the rigorous requirements of 'Passive House' design are met; these being a heating demand of 15kW/m2 per year and airtightness of less than 0.6 air changes/hour at 50pa. A very efficient Paul MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery) whole house ventilation system takes the heat out of extracted air and imparts it on incoming air to provide ample fresh air while losing a minimum of heat energy.

Another Subhead

Although the house is to be well sealed and mechanically ventilated for the majority of the time, there is nothing to stop occupants from opening a window. Indeed there are large sliding doors from most of the rooms onto the ground and first floor terraces that will allow the house to open up to the landscape better than most in the summer months when it is warm.

As Archid Architects first new build house commission that we have carried through to site, this house has been a tremendous opportunity. We are now believers in the 'Passive House' standard but also have a far better understanding of how to design and build low energy buildings even if they don't meet passive house standards.