BUILDING A SOLAR HOUSE IN FRANCE - DESIGN
[Page 1 of 1]
- Page 1
Original conception in 2002 - garage and house linked by a roofed area carrying solar photovoltaic collectors. More collectors on the main roof providing domestic hot water. Super-insulated walls and roof, all of timber construction. Main house sits on top of basement (sous sol) with studio and spare bedroom. This early design had a 'sun space' on the south corner which modelling with SPIEL showed was less effective than direct solar gain to the living area.
Site photo showing the wooded character of the site. The land slopes west, with a view over Brantome (in winter when the leaves have fallen). Site is 40 m wide and 104 m long - nearly 4000 msq (an acre) and entirely covered with a mixture of mostly young oak trees, a few maritime pines, some chestnuts and hazel.
Later design drawing (2005)after the project had been postponed for a couple of years for reasons of finance. By that time we had had further thoughts and sited the house further down away from the road in a slight clearing in the middle of the woodland and on a steeper slope, allowing a larger "sous sol" or basement and cellar floor level with bigger studio and spare bedroom. In this position no mature trees had to be cut down. Square plan with minimum surface area and a vertical rooflight over the mezzanine level. Area of solar collectors increased.
Drawing of the approach to the house - there are a lot of trees on this side and the house will be hardly visible from the road, which is a quiet cul-de-sac. (See later photorealistic renders superimposed on photos of the site)
Early interior layout (now revised) using TurboCAD to model it. Living area with mezzanine above and kitchen on the right.
Mezzanine looking towards the stair. the far end of the mezzzanine level will eventually be partitioned off as another bedroom.
Nighttime view of the TurboCAD model from the south . I sarted doing the 2005 design using TurboCAD - a very user-friendly CAD system capable of quite good fast rendered perspectives, and excellent for 2-D drawing. But the French Architect Mr Lanterne, who prepared the documents for the planning permission application, used ArchiCAD, and so I was persuaded to switch and learn to use that, so that the model and drawings I produced would be compatible. In France any house over 170 square metres must be presented for planning consent by a French Architect.
Rendered perspective from the ArchiCAD model with background. This revised design has a glass roof in front of the workshop which will be enclosed in winter with demountable glazed panels as a greenhouse. The blue areas of roof are photovoltaic solar collectors. This render is superimposed on a photograph of the site from about the correct viewpoint - which is slightly out of scale but generally gives the right impression.
View of ArchiCAD model from the south west, of the design used for planning application. (See Helen's renders which follow which were used for the application) One of the features of ArchiCAD is the option to automatically generate a series of views from the same position casting shadows of the sun each hour of a given day - very useful for accurate passive solar design.
A view of the site from the road, in about 2003 - the trees and bushes have grown o lot since then. The next picture shows a render superimposed on this view. Toggle between these two views !
Final design for planning permission - a photorealistic render of the TurboCAD model done by Helen with VIZ and superimposed on the site photograph taken from the road. Compare with the preceding picture.
Another view of site from road to present to planners - see following image with design superimposed.
Final design for planning permission - another photorealistic render of the TurboCAD model done by Helen with VIZ and superimposed on the site photograph taken from the road.
TurboCAD model of the timber construction which wasplanned to be completely prefabricated off site. Colours are schematic to denote different elements. The 'sous sol' is not shown. After receiving unacceptably high tenders for the timber structure to be prefabricated, we have modified the design to be built entirely traditionally. More about that later.
Recent midsummer photograph of the site with design inserted, to show how little one will actually see of the house from the road when the foliage is out.
Latest slightly revised design (May 2006) viewed from the conservatory (serre solaire) using ArchiCAD modeller.
View from the North East using the ArchiCAD modeller - the terrace will eventually be screened from the approach by a wall under the roof linking the house to the garage behind which firewood will be stored under shelter. Fron this angle it is hard to believe there is another storey below with two walls sheltered by the earth. The 4000 litre rainwater cistern will be under the terrace.
View from the South East of the July 2006 version of the design.
Plan of "sous sol" Key: B2 - spare bedroom. sh - laundry and shower room. A - studio. La - larder. CV - cellar - these 'plans' are vertical perspectives from the ArchiCAD model. The retaining walls to the terraces are to the right and top.
Ground floor plan Key : E - entrance lobby with stair down to 'sous sol'. H - Dining area . L - living area. sb - bathroom. S - study. B - main bedroom. C - walk-in cupboard.
Plan of mezzanine level Key: B3 - later bedroom st - study area d - double volume over living area
By mid 2007 the design had been modified as we built, and had to make changes to the construction (monomur walls on 3 sides of the main floor for reasons described in Design Changes) A balcony was added with a large sliding door.
The roof window was enlarged and some changes made to the facade onto the terrace.
The wood fire (insert ) was moved back flush with the wall to hide the flue and encase it and the flue in heat storage blocks.
A projected view of the mezzanine.
Living room design in September 2007 - the mezzanine at this stage was to have tempered glass under the rail. As the building progressed internal details kept changing as prices were received and I worked on the joinery myself, and we bought materials, and things like insulation, doors, tiles, sanitaryware, etc on sales. I bought all the timber for framing partitions, floors, etc. direct from sawmills, and cut and planed everything on site (see progress photographs weeks 14 onwards)
Album last updated on Mar 22, 2010 - 05:56 PM