Focus House - simpler framework for future living

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This low maintenance, low energy, low cost home has been designed by bere:architects as an example of a simpler framework for future living. The main objective was to achieve a compact low maintenance, energy preserving house that would allow a young couple and their children to shift the focus of their life by providing them with more actual living space by transposing the traditional space division of the Victorian house to suit present-day needs. Healthy air and water quality is ensured by selecting non-toxic materials; automatic air ventilation and water filtration for drinking and bathing. CO2 emissions are minimised due to solar thermal, low energy heat recovery ventilation, airtight construction, solid-core wood construction and e...
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Focus House - simpler framework for future living : Project images

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CO2 emissionsPrimary energy requirement
Energy target
AECB Silver

Energy and fuel use

Fuel use by type
Primary energy requirement
CO2 emissions

Measured data from renewable generation is not yet available.

Fuel use

Electricity use - - -
Natural gas use- - -
Oil use- - -
LPG use- - -
Wood use- - -
Other Fuel - - -
Primary energy requirement - - -
Annual CO₂ emissions - - -
Annual space heat demand - 54 kWh/m².yr -

Renewable energy

Electricity generationForecastMeasured
Renewables Technology--
Other Renewables Tech--
Electricity consumed by generation --
Primary energy requirement
offset by renewable generation
Annual CO₂ emissions
offset by renewable generation

Calculation and targets

Whole house energy calculation method
Other whole house calculation method-
Energy target AECB Silver
Other energy targets-
Forecast heating load -


Pre-development air permeability test--
Final air permeability test28 March 20074.6m³/m².hr @ 50 Pascals

Project description

Start date01 August 2007
Occupation date
Location London London  England
Build typeNew build
Building sectorPrivate Residential
Property typeSemi-Detached
Construction typeOther
Other construction typeSolid-core wood construction
Party wall construction
Floor area 105
Floor area calculation method Treated Floor Area (PHPP)
Building certification

Project Team

Project lead personbere:architects
Landlord or ClientEdward Gibbs
Mechanical & electrical consultant bere:architects
Energy consultantbere:architects
Structural engineerTechniker Ltd
Quantity surveyorAndrew Turner and Company
ContractorVision Build

Design strategies

Planned occupancy5 people
Space heating strategyHeated through the air with a mechanical heat recovery ventilation and underfloor heating on the ground floor and radiators on the first and second floor.
Water heating strategySolar hot water (with gas condensating boiler top up).
Fuel strategyMains Gas.
Renewable energy strategySolar thermal
Passive Solar strategyWindow proportions and orientations are optimised for passive solar gain.
Space cooling strategyNatural ventilation - cross ventilation
Daylighting strategyWindow sizes are designed in relation to the room utilisation and orientation in order to maximise daylight.
Ventilation strategyMechanical heat recovery ventilation (winter) and natural ventilation (summer).
Airtightness strategy Airtight details
Strategy for minimising thermal bridges Continuous insulation maintained throughout, Focus house has been designed using the thermal bridge-free approach.
Modelling strategy
Insulation strategy
Other relevant retrofit strategies
Contextual information

Building services

Occupancy5 people
Space heating
Hot water
VentilationMechanical heat recovery ventilation at 83% heat recovery efficiency.
Lighting100% low energy lighting
AppliancesAll appliances are A+ Rated
Renewable energy generation systemSolar thermal device
Strategy for minimising thermal bridgesThermal bridge-free construction

Building construction

Storeys 3
Volume 320
Thermal fabric area 105
Roof description Flat roof with foam glass insulation and covered by zinc.
Roof U-value 0.15 W/m² K
Walls description Soild core timber construction with foam glass insulation, clad in zinc.
Walls U-value 0.21 W/m² K
Party walls description Masonry wall with 80mm of rockwool insulation.
Party walls U-value 0.24 W/m² K
Floor description Concrete floor with 200mm extruded polystyrene insulation and 55mm expanded polystrene insulation.
Floor U-value 0.18 W/m² K
Glazed doors description
Glazed doors U-value - -
Opaque doors description
Opaque doors U-value - -
Windows description Well insulated double glazed windows with insulated frames
Windows U-value 1.30 W/m² K installed
Windows energy transmittance (G-value) -
Windows light transmittance -
Rooflights description Triple glazed roof light
Rooflights light transmittance -
Rooflights U-value -