Springfield House

Studio Bark, Norwich, 2014


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South Elevation 

Wilf Meynell (website)     Download Original

  • South Elevation    
  • In the poplars    
  • In the Courtyard    
  • Inside passive heating and cooling core    
  • The in-situ concrete trombe stair    
  • Glowing at night    
  • Abstract balcony    
  • The moon in the poplars    
  • 1:10 stair model    
  • Stair formwork on site    
  • Striking the stair    
  • UEL students fixing the cladding    
  • UEL students processing the timber    
  • Processed WRC boards    

A new-build Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 house, approved under paragraph 55 of the NPPF

Springfield House was designed with the ambition to demonstrate that low energy buildings can be both beautiful and affordable.

Completed in August 2014, the house sits on virgin land in rural Norfolk, with a southern aspect and a gentle slope towards a tall copse of mature poplar trees that gentle follow the curves of the river Tud.

The two timber-clad cantilevered balconies frame the beautiful views to the valley, but also act as fixed passive solar shading, proportioned to respond directly to summer and winter sun angles. This ensures that the hot summer sun is blocked, whereas the cooler winter sun is able to penetrate the thermal envelope with very little obstruction.

A locally sourced amelanchier tree has been transplanted in front of the southern aspect of the building, and once established will provide additional seasonal solar shading. A high level openable rooflight and a substantial in-situ GGBS concrete trombé wall and stair provide for a low impact and season specific passive heating and natural ventilation system.

All of the Western Red Cedar cladding was sourced from trees less than 500 metres from the building and all of the air-drying, processing and detailing was completed on site by a team of architecture students from the University of East London.

All of the stone used for the gabion retaining walls was sourced from a local quarry near Dereham. All of the internal window sills, worktops and kitchen table & chairs were also sourced from a single Sycamore tree less than 300 metres from the site


  • Begun: Feb 2014
  • Completed: Sep 2014
  • Floor area: 179m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £229,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Jan 2014
  • Procurement: JCT intermediate with contractor’s design
  • Address: Springfield House, 45 Dereham Road, Honingham, Norwich, NR9 5AP, United Kingdom

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