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Nature itself is the best physician.

Hippocrates
ROSTHERNE AVENUE
Manchester, United Kingdom
2019

Rostherne Avenue is a three-bed semi-detached home that lies in Fallowfield, a suburb three miles south of Manchester; a major city in the northwest of England famous for its rich industrial heritage. The clients - a "elderly" retired couple - specifically wanted a lower level annexe that would help navigate the physical and mental changes that would diminish their ability to exercise this choice and control.

In response to this grim trajectory, Walls Can Be More brought out there creative streak with a completely glazed pavilion or solarium that takes the best advantage of natural light in every possible way. Within, a generous, fluid and almost uninterrupted multi-functional space opens out on to a Japanese-style engawa, complemented by ornamental grasses, trees and a reflection pool.

Here in this solarium, it is our hope that the couple make the most of the next phase of their lives in visual and physical connection with the beauty and tranquility of the natural world and all the benefits it brings with it. This includes reduced blood pressure and stress, improved recovery rates, improvements in mental health and tranquility.

Type
Residential, Remodelling, Private House

Stage
Concept

Project Budget
Undisclosed

Size
150m²

Package
Transform A Floor

Price
2700.00 GBP
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LOW-CARBON DESIGN

1 Passive Solar Lighting

1.1 Overview
A collection of low-carbon building design concepts that harvest the free energy of the sun in order to permeate and invigorate internal space as well as reduce or eliminate our consumption of environmentally destructive fossil fuels. 

1.2 Toplighting
solid timber and aluminium roof glazing system will be overshadowed for most of the year by the existing building. However, the east is free from overshadowing and receives an initial boost of direct sunlight in the morning and diffuse sky radiation will provide the interior with indirect natural overhead lighting throughout the day.

1.3 Sidelighting
A solid timber and aluminium curtain wall system will be overshadowed for most of the year by the existing building. However, the east, west and north facades  will source natural light from alternate directions to take best advantage of sunlight at different times of the day to complement the indirect natural overhead lighting throughout the day.

1.4 Internal Reflectances
A subtle colour range of classic neutral colours and textures e.g. silvery grey trowel-on plaster coatings for the walls reflect available natural light as well as spread it around the interior. 

1.5 Shading Devices
Voile panels that pull back from the curtain wall offers the clients privacy as well as gently diffuse any overbearing impact of the morning sun without obscuring natural light filtering in. A “living curtain” of creepers located above the curtain wall act as a supplementary natural blind that can also generate evocative patterns that alter with the direction and level of the sun.

1.6 Artificial Lighting
To maximize the efficiency and quality of the electrical lighting system, technologically based strategies include the selection of energy efficient LED’s that use up to 90% less energy than traditional sources; luminaires [i.e. angled spotlights] that provide a good general level of background light as well as a soft, restful atmosphere and; dimmable lighting controls that save energy by reducing the flow of electricity to the bulb and allowing lights to operate with lower power outputs.

2 Passive Solar Heating

2.1 Overview
In simple terms, passive solar heating is a low carbon building concept in which windows, walls and floors are utilised to collect, store, reflect and distribute solar gain – natural heating provided by the sun – in order to heat the home in winter and thus reduce or eliminate the consumption of environmentally destructive fossil fuels.

2.2 Direct gain
During the heating season [i.e. winter] the same south-facing curtain wall, roof glazing and window that provides the interior with natural overhead and side lighting also collect solar energy in the form of heat.

2.3 Thermal Storage
The application of high mass materials: cast-in-place concrete floor slab and ceramic tiles for the floor and trowel-on plaster over masonry walls near the east-facing glazing allows for the sun’s energy to be absorbed and released throughout the evening and night.

2.4 Heating Technologies
The pavilion floor comprises of a cast-in-place concrete floor slab, 20mm heating insulation board and a underfloor floor heating and uncoupling membrane to creats an efficient yet aesthetically pleasing heating solution. 

3 Fabric First

3.1 Overview
The “fabric first” approach is a low carbon building design solution that maximises the thermal performance of the homes components – windows, walls, floors and ceilings – in order to reduce the loss of natural heating provided by the sun and thus reduce our dependence on environmentally destructive fossil fuels.

3.2 External
The solid timber and aluminium curtain wall façade and roof glazing system as well as the windows and doors meet the highest requirements for passive house standards: the world’s leading standard in energy efficient construction.

3.3 Internal
The south-façade of solid brick comprises of 50mm thermal laminate plasterboard finished with a soft-white trowel on plaster coating and a precise 12.5mm shadow gap [where applicable]. The floor comprises of a cast-in-place concrete floor slab, 20mm heating insulation board finished with cement effect ceramic tiles. The ceiling comprises a 31.5mm thermal laminate board finished with a soft-white trowel on plaster coating
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HEALTH & WELL-BEING

4 Biophilic Design
that can reduce stress through lower blood pressure and heart rate; increase positive emotional functioning, improve concentration and recovery rates as well as improve attitude and overall happiness.

4.1 Visual Connection with Nature 
that can reduce stress through lower blood pressure and heart rate; increase positive emotional functioning, improve concentration and recovery rates as well as improve attitude and overall happiness.

4.2 Non-Visual Connection with Nature 
e.g. herbs and flowers, birdsong, weather, breezes that can accelerate physiological and  psychological restoration, reduce cognitive fatigue and help motivation.

4.3 Thermal and Airflow Variability
i.e. sensory variations in light, sound and temperature can improve concentration.

4.4 Presence of Water
e.g. visual access to rainfall and water features can elicit a higher restorative response, improve self esteem and mood as well as reduce stress.

4.5 Dynamic and Diffuse Light
e.g. direct sunlight, moonlight and starlight can increase productivity, induce positive moods and impact the circadian system functioning.

4.6 Connection with Natural Systems
i.e. climate and weather patterns, stars and constellations can elicit an experience that is often relaxing, nostalgic, profound or enlightening, and frequently anticipated.

4.7 Material Connection with Nature
e.g. natural wood grain, stone and natural colours such as green can decrease diastolic blood pressure, increase in pulse rate and decrease in brain activity.

*Biophilic Design is a concept that brings elements of the natural world in to the built environment for improved health and well-being.
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WALLS CAN BE MORE
Bringing the outside inside

Registered company no. 08558415
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