Great Gate Rein, County Durham
In recognition of our technical abilities to deliver complicated buildings that not only look good but work well too, we were appointed to produce a detailed construction package for a paragraph 79 house in County Durham, which meant working to high sustainable standards (Passivhaus) innovative technical solutions and stringent planning conditions.
The strikingly rugged design is dominated by a stone facade that seamlessly wraps over the whole building - combining the wall and roof, with relatively large areas of glazing and deep, chamfered reveals.
These elements combined to pose significant technical challenges, not least in the context of Passivhaus and the fact the super-structure was a lightweight timber frame. However, with the help of a dedicated team, leading a series of design workshops and collaboration with many specialists, we were able to successfully
overcome the many technical issues.
So specific were the design parameters of this project, that we produced 3D sequencing details to convey how the building would be constructed, ensuring both the stringent environmental and
aesthetic needs could be met by the construction process. In addition, details were modelled and thermal bridge calculations undertaken to test their performance. The modest challenge of designing a stone facade and roof connected to a lightweight timber frame involved dialogue with stone-masons, engineers, facade specialists and rainscreen cladding experts.
The result - a design that features a self-supporting stone facade and rain-screen stone roof: elegant, waterproof, breathable and of course, low energy and thermally superior to many buildings in the UK right now.