This timber-framed extension with living-roof vastly improved the thermal and light characteristics of the ground floor, replacing the original damp draughty brick kitchen block. Natural hemp and wood-fibre board insulation created a warm, cosy and structurally and thermally stable year-round comfortable environment. Insulation underneath the concrete slab ensures sunshine hitting the floor in winter warms up the slab during the day and is released slowly during the night. Heating can be increased via the underfloor heating in the screed.
I used 3D computer modelling to simulate the path of sun through each season. This ensured maximum light penetration into the rear of the house during the winter months when needed and shade during summer when less sun is required. It was a wonderful moment when I removed the temporary boarding to let the sunlight in for the first time and the rays penetrated all the way into the back room, exactly as per simulation!
High-spec timber sliding-folding doors made the deck and garden part of the living space in warmer months and the extra-large roof overhang keeps the doors sheltered from rain and excess sun.
A sedum-topped highly insulated living-roof system protects the EPDM membrane, negating the need for costly repairs for decades to come, whilst simultaneously helping protect the environment by providing a natural habitat for flora and fauna and also reducing storm run-off. Nutrient-rich rain water from the roof is collected in a storage tank for use in the vegetable garden, with excess sent to drains.