Located in Brechfa, Carmarthenshire, this is the conversion of a barn on a land owned by the clients. The space is currently used as storage for farm equipment and a barn for two donkeys.
The family currently lives in the Listed Sheriffs house on the site. However, the heritage asset limits the potential to upgrade the envelope and create a space that can be future-proofed for later life. Having established roots in the area, the family are keen to remain in Brechfa. But wish to do so in a more sustainable way, minimizing their impact on the environment.
The proposed barn conversion is a response to these needs and creates a co-living property built on Passivhaus principles that allow independent, supported living for two generations of the family.
The proposal provides two discreet double-height living spaces, each with mezzanine home office spaces, three double bedrooms & one single bedroom, and shared service facilities, such as laundry, heating, and ventilation. The linear layout allows for flexible use of the bedrooms by either family.
A large roof covers the existing barn, this extends beyond the stone walls to form the entrance porch on the Northeast and to form an awning to the Southwest and Southern Elevations of the property. This will provide a covered external space on the subordinate elevations during inclement weather and minimize uncontrolled solar gain and overheating caused by low evening and winter sun. Minimizing uncontrolled solar gains is key to achieving the low energy targets of Passivhaus.
This space of the extended roof is kept to a reasonable 2m space.
The project is constructed of three distinct components.
The Existing stone shell has been subject to wear & tear typical of the prevailing SW winds and will be repaired and repointed. The historic timber lintels will be repaired as required.
A Structural Insulated Panel building will be inserted into the stone shell forming a well-insulated structure holding the internal floors and roof of the building.
A large roof covers the existing barn, this extends beyond the stone walls to form the entrance porch on the Northeast and to form an awning to the Southwest and Southern Elevations of the property. This will provide a covered external space on the subordinate elevations during inclement weather and minimize uncontrolled solar gain and overheating caused by low evening and winter sun. Minimizing uncontrolled solar gains is key to achieving the low energy targets of Passivhaus. This space of the extended roof is kept to a reasonable 2m space.
The openings in the walls will have been located sensitively based on the existing openings & historic windows identified in the witness marks in the walls. A large new opening is proposed on the gable elevation to the south, with a modest gable window proposed to the North.
New Passivhaus standard triple-glazed timber windows are proposed for the property.
The space is defined by a linear circulation zone to the Northeast with accommodation to the Southwest of the building. Along its length the barn was divided into three parts. 2 double height living spaces, taking advantage of the scale & character of the barn with the accommodation and services in the central section. The compact service core simplifies the service runs required.
The existing roof is a corrugated metal sheet with translucent polycarbonate. The new roof will be a standing seam metal roof to create an elegant solution appropriate to the rural context.
The existing roof is raised by 750mm to allow for the additional insulation requirements in Passive house standards. The eaves walls and gable ends will be raised to facilitate this. As the building is free standing and away from other buildings, this will not be discernable on site.
In the backdrop of a climate emergency with rising energy costs the proposed development will enable two generations of a family to live together in a low-energy, Passivhaus standard home. This is a self-build project designed on a shared living model which will ensure that the 2 generations of the family can remain on site in an independent yet supported manner, in a property designed to meet their current and future needs sustainably.
If you have a project in mind we’d be very happy to help you bring it to life.