Passivhaus - Muswell Hill
The Director of Architecture for London, Ben Ridley, has transformed his Edwardian terrace in Muswell Hill, north London, into a contemporary, low energy home. As a certified and passionate Passivhaus practitioner, Ridley aspires for this project to exemplify how a traditional terraced house in London could be sustainably refurbished on a constrained budget.
Passivhaus adopts a whole-building approach to high-quality construction completed to rigorous energy-efficient standards. Ridley has achieved a Passivhaus standard U-value of 0.15 or better on all existing builds in his dramatic reconstruction through insulation, triple-glazing, and improving airtightness.
The four-bedroom property has been enveloped in a continuous airtight layer of insulation that externally surrounds the house at the rear and the sides. For the front of the property, Ridley opted for internal insulation in order to preserve the original Edwardian facade.
In the house's loft, a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) unit has been installed to aid with ventilation on the property. The system filters the incoming air and removes pollution, including pollen, diesel particulates, and nitrogen oxide. It also provides pre-heated fresh air, creating a warm and comfortable environment within the home. The unit ducts have been astutely designed to be hidden behind the staircase wall to not disrupt the house's aesthetics.
Ridley carefully considered the materials used throughout the house, working to limit the energy and carbon emissions where possible. He tried to minimise his use of steel and concrete due to their high energy. Instead, he opted for natural materials such as stone, timber, and lime plaster and retained original features such as the masonry nib walls on the ground floor.
The twentytwentyone contracts team supplied a range of furniture to compliment the low-energy home.