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Low Emission, High Impact

04.02.22

Abode2 explores the home of Ben Ridley, Director at Architecture for London, to see how his home is setting the example for a greener future

An Edwardian terrace in Muswell Hill was extended and refurbished to create a comfortable, low energy house. The original structure of the house was revealed, its modest beauty celebrated.

Energy requirements are reduced dramatically by insulating, triple-glazing and improving airtightness. New additions include a rear extension and a loft conversion.

As the home of Ben Ridley, Director at Architecture for London, this project aims to be an exemplar for the sustainable refurbishment of a typical terraced home in London, with a constrained budget. Both embodied energy and energy in-use have been considered in depth.

Design features include timber structure, triple glazing, a continuous airtight layer and insulation to the entire building envelope. Walls were insulated externally at the side and rear, and internally at the front with wood fibre. Insulating internally at the front has allowed the original Edwardian facade to be preserved.

Masonry nib walls were retained at ground floor to avoid energy-intensive steel box frames. Natural materials including stone, timber and lime plaster were used throughout rather than cement-based products.

The rear extension was built in highly insulated 172mm SIPS and all existing building elements achieved a Passivhaus standard U-value of 0.15 or better. An MVHR system provides pre-heated fresh air, creating a warm and comfortable home. The system also filters the incoming air, removing pollen, diesel particulates and NOx to create a healthy indoor environment.

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