Crossways, Internorms [1st] Grand Design…

Richard Hawkes’s immaculate design of an energy friendly house (Crossways) is one of UK’s first code level 5 houses. The unique designs’ main concept was to reduce the overall eco-footprint and has exceptionally achieved this masterpiece incorporating Internorm windows. All the materials used contribute to one of the first houses in the UK to have zerocarbon emissions. The remarkable design, was adapted from the medieval architecture technique "timbrel vaulting," used in Catalonia, Spain over 600 years ago. The technique uses thin bricks to create a lightweight, durable building and combines a modern vision by applying Internorm windows from the Edition, Varion and Varion4 ranges. The building also consists of glass facades from Bohler Fenster.

The eye-catching arch, which gives the building its unique shape and main frame of the building is less than five inches thick and has no material wastage. On top of the arch, gravel and soil have been cleverly laid to plant flowers which help weigh the self supporting frame, stabilising it.

Hawkes used locally sourced clay tiles, instead of bricks as they were more energy efficient, reflecting on his mission to save energy. In addition to this, solar panels have been fitted to the roof to generate 3,600kwh of energy a year, which as result leads to no need for extra power to be bought. Another significant factor in this design is that there will be no energy wastage from the energy which the occupants use.

There is a unique storage system where heat transferred from the solar panels, is stored. It holds energy in a specially-developed salt which changes from solid to liquid to conserve heat. Developed with Cambridge University, the system stores seven times as much energy as a modern boiler, but is much smaller. Air then moves through the system, is heated and is circulated round the house through vents, meaning there's no need for a radiator.

This exceptional four bedroom house has been designed by its first occupant, Richard Hawkes. The magnificent building demonstrates how contemporary design can integrate innovative technologies to produce a highly sustainable building, which is also cost effective and a relatively simple design.

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