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Howden Hall Road, Edinburgh

Howden Hall Road, Edinburgh

This 1930s Bungalow which has been completely upgraded, enhanced and extended employing offsite and modern methods of construction (MMC), renewable technologies, and innovative products.

Overview

56 Howden Hall Road is a 1930s Bungalow which has been completely re-modernised, environmentally enhanced and extended employing offsite and modern methods of construction (MMC), renewable technologies, novel techniques and innovative products. The level of build quality, architectural improvements and low carbon credentials achieved represent an extremely high level of cost benefit.

Bungalow External

Approach

Works to the Existing House

Reconfiguration - The house was turned back to front to create a new South/West facing open plan living, dinning and kitchen area with the reallocation of the bathroom and utility space to the internal core with bedrooms to the front. This required a completely new plumbing and wiring infrastructure, the removal of walls and creation of new partitions as well as the installation of a new bathroom with velux window for natural light and kitchen. This part of the build was challenging as it required controlling a limited budget, project managing all trades whilst living in the house. 

Floorplans

Energy Efficiency Measures - Failing double glazing to the front elevation was replaced with modern high specification windows, additional insulation to the fabric including cavity wall, loft top up and under floor (installed by owners) as well as the installation of energy saving measures including LED light bulbs and renewable technologies in the form of a 2.5kW solar PV array and a 4.8kW wood burning stove. 

Extension 

“Sitooterie” - The existing sunroom was removed and the existing foundation was reinforced to carry an offsite fabricated breathable extension.

The closed wall, floor and roof panels were lifted into position with a high level of tolerance adhered too and all joints and gaps filled for air tightness ensuring a high performing thermal envelope. The walls were internally lined with Birch Ply and clad externally with Scotspine Accoya Cladding. Finally to connect the Sitooterie with the existing house the old external door way opening was extended with a Glulam support beam inserted and a glass link formed to ensure maximum light into the space and newly formed sitting room area. 

Dining area - To eliminate the need for new foundations the Architect formulated the idea of inserting beams under the suspended floor of the house that would rest on to the existing external wall and be tied down to the under-building internal dwarf walls thus providing both bearing support and holding down restraint. These beams would then be capable of supporting an open plan kitchen and dining full height glazed extension with a highly insulated roof clad with zinc that would look out on to South West facing garden providing a natural source of light and solar gain Structural accoya sections were re-engineered to form the beams from Glue-Laminated timber for enhanced strength, stiffness and durability. The beams were installed and the movement of them measured for instantaneous deflection (initial deflection due to the installation of glazing) and creep deflection (deflection over time). The final maximum deflection after 6 months was 3mm, less than half of the allowable 7.15mm deflections prescribed by the building codes of practice. 

Open Plan Dining Area   Dining Room Extension

Attic Conversion - the final phase of the work was to add an additional level by converting the traditional cold roof space to a warm living area capable of accommodating two bedrooms and a bathroom. To allow for future change of use the bedroom area has been left open plan and bathroom accessible from the landing. Again a high specification of insulation has been used with rigid insulation between the rafters and insulation backed plasterboard. Access to the attic is provided by a contemporary birchply staircase. 

External With Attic

Performance

The upgrade works to the house have resulted in an improvement in energy performance rating from E (53) to a B (82).

In the extensions area fabricated by offsite construction U-Values of the roof, wall and floor closed panels were 0.17, 0.19 and 0.14 (building regulation renovation target values are 0.18, 0.22 0.18) respectively. 

Lessons

  • Tolerances are even more critical when interfacing offsite systems with an existing build as part of a retro fit.
  • Coordination of trades and the communication between the onsite traditional skill set and offsite skill set is key particularly when innovative technologies are being employed.
  • Good architecture utilizes space efficiently and can create a new living environment from a traditional space.
  • Standardized offsite components can be used to offer a customized solution when combined with traditional onsite skills as appropriate. 

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