This design represents a contemporary house design based on traditional narrow plan, designed to reflect advanced technology and sustainable objectives, and modern lifestyles while at the same time respecting the significance of buildings in the rural countryside, and in particular the characteristics that contribute to the rural character of Kildare.
Key Principles - Positioning on Site
Recognising the rural nature of the site, the house is positioned (repositioned by way of the further information submission) to the south west of the site, tucked behind the existing large trees, at the lowest level of the sloping site.
The significant tree cover to the road boundary at this location affords the house shelter from prevailing winds, without limiting the passive solar gains from direct sunlight.
The house comprises of simple forms, arranged on the site to gain the most benefit of the path of the sun over the course of the day and year, to enclose external terrace spaces orientated to morning sun, evening sun, informed equally by microclimate and the lifestyle of the applicant.
The view from the road approach from the west is largely obscured by existing trees.
The form and siting of the house are designed locating the single storey element facing the approach from the east, thus offering a sympathetic single storey to this view.
Key Principles - Form & Planning
The proposed form massing of the house comprises of two intersecting distinct forms, with a simple and uncomplicated pitched roof construction. The proportions of the forms match the characteristics of the traditional rural Kildare house, demonstrate appropriate “solid-to-void” ratios on elevations, verticality of fenestration, and traditional approaches to materiality.
The ridge, gutter, and window detail design will engender the characteristics of the rural farmhouse, with simple detailing, and minimal “fuss” For example, it is envisaged that the gutter detail will be simple, without unnecessary overhanging eaves, fascia or soffit.
Key Principles - Roofs
The proposed roof is a simple pitched roof in form, with slate finish. It is proposed to utilize a simple ridge detail, and strong chimney stack. A single chimney stack is proposed, emerging from the highest point of the roof, and rising above the top of the roof. The chimney will be rendered to match the wall finish below.
No dormer windows are proposed.
Key Principles - Windows
Windows are designed to provide good “solid-and-void” rhythm on elevations. Windows are well proportioned, and vertical in orientation, and opening panels will be incorporated accordingly, without jeopardizing the vertical feel of the openings.
Key Principles - Materials & Finishes
As outlined in the submitted drawings, it is proposed to use a limited palette of materials, namely plaster, stone, and slate, with simple dark coloured rainwater goods guttering (PPC metal, where practical)
Key Principles - Sustainability & Energy
In keeping with the Kildare County Development Plan objective to achieve the highest possible energy rating for each house, the house is designed to be a two storey house with an efficient building envelope to volume ratio. This allows the house to aim towards the upper end of thermal performance, carbon reduction, and focuses on reduction of energy load requirement in the first instance, a key principle of sustainable design.
These objectives are not as achievable in a single storey house, where a poorer building envelope to volume ratio, allows increased thermal losses, increases energy requirement, and carbon footpring. Additionallly a larger footprint on the site increases land use, and results in a less economically efficient building. Thus, pursuit of sustainable objectives becomes far more difficult.
The house is orientated to achieve the maximum benefit from solar gain, while restricting overheating, and sets up a life for Michelle & James engaging with their landscape throughout the day, initially with a morning terrace orientated to the south east accessed from the kitchen area, and as the sun moves throughout the day, an evening terrace faces the setting sun in the west. Large opes for glazing incorporate significant solar gain.
In keeping with planning policy, and in achieving compliance with building regulations, particularly Part L – Energy & Use, it is proposed to incorporate solar thermal water heaters, and a renewable energy source – such as wood burning stove, or wood pellet boiler. It is proposed to use intelligent heating systems with time/ temperature/ zone/ and function controls, and to incorporate energy efficient lighting systems into the design of the house.