Tower House

Basingstoke, Hampshire, 2015
Client: Viscount Lymington
Architect: Sergison Bates Architects
Area: 435m2
Design Stage
Housing, New Build, Passivhaus

The Tower House is a new lodge house on a country estate in Hampshire, conceived in the tradition of historic follies, built on the site of a disused water tower.

The central tenet of the sustainable design approach is the achievement of the ‘Passivhaus’ standard; an international high standard for passive, low-energy buildings.

The proposal won planning consent under the ‘truly outstanding design’ exception clause of paragraph 55 of the NPPF.  

A Passivhaus needs the architectural and environmental designs to be integrated. The Tower House’s windows were iteratively optimised by the architect as we assessed the PHPP calculation results in support of this passive approach. 

Heat losses are dramatically reduced through a thermally efficient construction, very-high-performance, triple-glazed windows and heat recovered from the extracted air. The result is a building which is almost self-sufficient for heat; warmed by the sun, by its occupants and by household appliances.

The water tower originally supplied the Portsmouth Estate but was decommissioned in the 1950's

The water tower originally supplied the Portsmouth Estate but was decommissioned in the 1950's

The water tower originally supplied the Portsmouth Estate but was decommissioned in the 1950's

The active services include a ground source heat pump, solar thermal water heating and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.

In his review of the proposals, Justin Bere said: “The Tower House will show something that hasn’t been shown before in the UK, and that is an important step for the architectural profession in the UK; that a great deal of design freedom is possible for Passivhaus designers. This is likely to encourage other architects to emulate high quality, low carbon design.”