Today, architects are re-examining the idea of pre-fab – once a by-word for cheap but disposable and visually unappealing housing – as a new form of low energy, sustainable design.
Spacehus is a unique interpretation of pre-fab, off site manufacture and is based on the principals of PassivHaus. It turns traditional construction methods on their head in several ways, initially by starting construction of each timber-based building with its triple glazed windows and building out, rather than building a shell, leaving a hole for the window and sealing it with mastic. This method ensures that an airtight seal is achieved, with the timber for each Spacehus being engineered to a high level and component gaskets factory fitted.
Each Spacehus is fabricated in
A key focus of each Spacehus is minimising energy use. Not only does each Spacehus fall in line with Part L Building Regulations, each one has the ability to achieve code six of the Code for Sustainable Homes and can be zero carbon.
The particular energy supply that the Client specifies is ‘bolted on’ to the building, which means that using renewable energy sources is a viable option, with Client budgetary requirements being the only barrier to the final energy source and code achievement. The windows and high levels of insulation enable the energy generated within the building to be retained. Heating is provided by a single radiator and two towel rails, with a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system recapturing and re-circulating warm air. This strategy is a very simple, yet effective way of reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Spacehus bathrooms are made in pods, which are pre-positioned on site with the rest of the structure assembled around them. This ensures the homes are watertight in a day and helps to speed up the construction process.
We believe that this design has many varying applications. The efficient construction methodology, low cost per unit and conformation to current building aspirations mean that they are a viable social housing option, while the design could also be modified to accommodate the needs schools have for additional housing, as previous incarnations of the module have done.
Today’s modular buildings should be monuments to the best of what creative design can offer. We are confident that Spacehus is at the cutting edge of a new stage of modular housing and are looking forward to seeing its many applications be put to great use.