We asked Andrew Yeats and Eric Parks of the award winning architect’s practice, Eco Arc, about their favourite wall details. They are happy to work with both heavyweight construction and lightweight or even a mix of the two. The essential element, they say, is to get the U-values down as low as possible and retain thermal mass on the inner skin. Here they outline the walling options and discussions for a project currently at the planning stage for a 7 home carbon neutral housing development in Scotland...
This is a two page article. First published in June 2007
Historically we have been specialising in super-insulated timber frame construction, but over time have found them lacking in thermal mass. We now promote more heavyweight thermal construction and hybrid construction which combine super-insulation with recycled aggregate concrete blocks or clay masonry alternatives.
Materials for this project were discussed at length in an open minded co-creative spirit focused on achieving the most ecological and cost effective house possible. We all agreed that the embodied energy of an unheated masonry, passive solar house with integral thermal mass, is generally offset in the long term by reduced emissions. This would typically be generated with an oil or gas boiler for a centrally heated, timber frame house.
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