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Net Zero with a View

Conversion of a building used as an old sheep shelter to a net zero home

This project started out by the client asking MJM to act as a retrofit consultant to assist with the client getting the project to Passivhaus standards. The project already had planning permission and building regulations approval but the client wanted the scheme to be net zero. The site is in a fantastic location in Mid Devon with commanding 180 degree views across a valley. There is an old timber frame building that has been used as a sheep shelter for the last 40 years, which is to be converted into a home, along with other outbuildings that needed repair or replacement.


The challenge with such projects is that decisions made at the early stages and those after, can have a significant impact on the success and performance of the retrofit. Wall thicknesses, window sizes, orientation, roof pitches etc all play a part and if these have been set without thorough consideration of the retrofit process it can limit the performance of the retrofit. MJM carried out a retrofit assessment of the proposed design and it soon became apparent that some changes would be required to the design. 


The original architectural assistant then moved to France and it was agreed that MJM would take on the architectural design as well as that of retrofit consultant. Amendments to the planning application were submitted and approved and new technical design put together to reflect the ambitions of the project. 


The proposal includes highly insulated building fabric, triple glazed windows, MVHR, bore hole for the water supply and photovoltaics which have been sized so that the site is self sufficient for power and water. 


The project is about to start on site in July and MJM is also acting as contract administrator which will involve inspecting the buildings works as they progress, tracking progress, quality and costs. Updates to the website will follow …


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