Duck End Barns

A Passivhaus home in rural Cambridgeshire

Minimising the impact on the environment and the rural setting is central to the design of this ambitious new five bedroom house in Dry Drayton, Cambridgeshire. Designed to Passivhaus standards the design will explore the use of natural and non-toxic materials to promote health and well-being for the residents.

The development is sensitive to minimising the impact to the rural setting. A new house will be placed on a farmyard area previously developed but unsuitable for conversion. With roof and walls treated with black timber the intention is that the house will read as one of the agricultural buildings on site. 



Duck End Barns Passivhaus house in Cambridge
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The layout of the new house has been developed in a C-shaped footprint that creates a new, well-protected courtyard. Outwards-facing openings are minimised, which keeps the building fairly opaque to public and neighbouring views, and obscures its residential purpose. 

The low energy demand design favours the use of renewable energy sources; air or ground-source heat pumps are considered, depending on the site’s ground conditions. The south slope of a retained barn is to be used for power generation by photovoltaic panels. Conscious of the development’s carbon footprint, wherever possible, timber is considered as the main material for the new buildings’ frame and exterior finish due to its recyclability and its capacity to sequester carbon. Rainwater harvesting and on-site domestic sewage treatment are also considered as part of the scheme.

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