The heart of the concept for the Lighthouse is the ambition to create homes where the innovative environmental systems and construction
methods do not compromise the quality of the occupants’ life but add to it – creating adaptable, flexible spaces that are designed for sustainable modern living. The prototype is a 93m², two-and-a-half-storey, two bedroom house. It has been designed in line with Lifetime Homes and Housing Quality indicators.
The structure of the Lighthouse is a simple barnlike form, derived from a 40 degree roof accommodating a PV array. The sweeping roof envelops the central space – a generous, open-plan, top-lit, double height living area, with the sleeping accommodation at ground level. The living space uses a timber portal structure so floors can be slotted between the frames or left open as required. At ground level a timber frame structural layout carries the vertical loads of the open-plan
frames above and provides stability to the load bearing shear walls.
Stability is achieved through the moment connections at first floor and ceiling level. It is constructed using Kingspan Off-Site’s TEK Building System – a high performance SIPS (structurally insulated panel based system).
To achieve Level 6 there is a mandatory heat loss parameter which demands high U-values for the building fabric. As a result, the ratio of
glazing to wall in the Lighthouse is 18%, as opposed to 25-30% in traditional houses. This drove the decision to locate the living space on the first floor, enabling us to maximise daylight and volume, with a top-lit, double-height living space. Phase changing material in the ceiling absorbs the room heat by changing from solid to liquid within
microscopic capsules embedded in the board. This process is reversed when the room is cooled with the night air, working with the passive system of the wind catcher.