Our proposal – based on the abstracted form of a traditional black house - is for a super insulated, airtight timber frame house with a corrugated sheet metal roof, clad at higher level with Scottish timber and protected at ground floor level by gabions filled with locally abundant materials. As well as being an allusion to the past these gabions provide a rainscreen cladding that can be easily erected by unskilled labour. They encourage biodiversity, maximize the use of low cost material, can help with rainwater attenuation and allow individuals to take ownership of how their home.
An individual house could be built for around £90,000 -£95,000 with potential savings available from ‘sweat equity’ and economies of scale.
The proposals are deliberately low tech to allow for the maximum involvement of low skilled workers, easy of maintenance and minimum environmental impact. Heating would come from a combination of air source heat pump, wood fuel with micro renewables and solar thermal becoming viable where more units are being built. Combined with underfloor heating and high levels of insulation & air tightness the house could achieve annual savings of £300-£450 over an average house.