The Boardwalk House

Winner of the Sunday Times British Homes Awards “EcoHaus” design category the Broadwalk House is a modern lakeside home.

Beating seven other shortlisted finalists in an online vote, the home has been created by the design team from NPS Leeds, with Barron and Smith Architects, part of the NPS Group, acting as certified Passivhaus consultants.

Boardwalk House will now present a new model for lifestyle living, being environmentally smart and providing a healthy environment for the occupants.

Contemporary Design

The home’s contemporary design promotes communal, outdoor living and its large glass windows break down the visual barrier between outside and in, and as an added bonus slide back to access generous sun decks.

The living areas are on the first floor boardwalk with the sun deck positioned to maximise sunlight and take full advantage of the views of the water, wildlife and shore line. The cantilever of the deck over the water also creates a greater connection with the environment and the opportunity to interact with the water or simply sit and enjoy a peaceful evening.

The ‘floating’ property’s decked first floor boardwalk also includes planting areas next to the kitchen for growing vegetables and herbs. At this level, the boardwalk also continues to the back of the house, providing shelter for a boat, cars and bikes, along with provision for charging electric vehicles.

The lower level jetty provides direct access to the water with a mooring point and the large rear wall operates as a thermal store and wind break to the deck, but leaves a gap for natural light to reflect into the living areas.

The house is designed with South East facing windows arranged to capture winter sun, but not overheat in the summer, and the private areas are arranged to the lower level with three double bedrooms.

The study at the upper level can be used as a guest room. Smaller windows to the lower level rooms provide daylight, ventilation and views.

A true EcoHaus

As an EcoHaus, the dwelling’s primary objective is to interact with and respect its immediate and wider environment.

The dwelling is naturally ventilated and the heat in the air is collected and used for winter heating. The staircase protrudes above the roof catching prevailing winds and drawing warm air from the dwelling into the stair and then out of the roof vents.

A heat exchanger takes the heat from the air and transfers it to cool rainwater, which is collected from the decks and roofs and stored below ground. The water is then used for under floor heating. During the summer the stair core will give ventilation to cool the rooms during the day and can be supplemented with the large areas of opening windows.

Rainwater collection and re-use reduces the demand for mains water, supplements the under floor heating is also used for flushing toilets.

From drawing board to waterside location

The unique design aims to give the home’s owner all they need to live comfortably and energy efficiently, whilst ensuring they both enjoy the local and help wider environment.

The concept will now become a reality with the Boardwalk House set to be built at one of the waterside sites owned by the Habitat First Group in 2015.

By David Mote, Editor