Aircrete supports the Home of the Future

ArcHouse has been voted as the blueprint for the home of the future in the Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2015.

Designed by Glasgow-based architect McInnes Gardner, the futuristic, three-bedroom, eco-friendly house was designed to be built for under £200 000. The house features thin joint aircrete block walls and gables from H+H, the UK’s leading aircrete manufacturer which support the scheme’s distinctive zinc-clad roof of curved SIP panels. 

McInnes Gardner say the aim of the scheme was: “to produce a design that created a pleasing and inviting geometry and to include enough detail to engender a sense of intimacy and belonging”.

The aircrete front gable features a stepped elevation with the upper section overhanging the lower one “to give an increased sense of enclosure and intimacy”. Its aircrete walls are insulated externally using external wall insulation with the addition of wood clapper-board panels to the upper levels and a section of handmade bricks adjacent to the front door “to enhance the sense of detail, texture and warmth”. 

Internally the aircrete walls provide thermal mass, which the designers claim helps the building achieve zero carbon emissions. In addition, the walls incorporate enhanced levels fo insulation to “higher than current standards”. 

Behind the thin joint aircrete walls, each three-storey home has an open-plan living/kitchen/dining area, two bedrooms and a galleried study on the first floor, and a master bedroom and a second floor home office under the eaves. 

The proposal includes low energy LED lighting throughout and energy efficient heat recovery ventilation, with a summer bypass facility, to provide cool fresh air in the summer and warmed fresh air in winter using energy recovered from exhaust air. 

The architect has designed the house to be built in terraces of five units, with the units stepped at an angle to maximise privacy and create bays for landscaping and tree planting.  

Construction costs are estimated at £100 per square foot, with a maximum cost of £200 000. There are plans for the barn-style scheme to be built by home-builder Redrow as a prototype for evaluation.

The distinctive-looking scheme with its wood-clad and rendered aircrete gables was chosen by almost of third of the people who voted in the competition, ahead of five other schemes.

Speaking about the winner, Jenny Smith-Andrews, marketing manager at H+H said: “McInnes Gardner’s distinctive geometric design is based proven technologies such as H+H UK’s thin joint aircrete blocks to create an innovative and sustainable family home”.   

The British Homes Awards was launched in March by the then Housing Minister Brandon Lewis MP. The Homes for Britain category, sponsored by H+H UK, challenged architects and designers to produce a standard house type suitable for garden city-type developments, with a focus on innovative designs that are both buildable and replicable. The winners were announced 16 October 2015.