The design of the West Wittering Beach House by architects 50 Degrees North has seen FAKRO roof windows installed in a standing seam zinc roof. Non-vented, FPP top-hung and centre pivot windows were supplied with side profiles and a special head section manufactured to the designer’s specification.
The building, originally a typical 1960’s brick and block bungalow, has been renovated and upgraded to demonstrate how such homes can benefit from a quality retrofit. The latest technologies and materials were used in order to provide an energy-efficient and healthy living space. It is also a ‘smart home’, with control possible via local modular intelligent wall plates or a smart phone / tablet.
Architect Leigh Bowen explained, “We developed this site in order to share information about the design, build process and products specified so that others can hopefully benefit from our experience. As architects, we are always on the lookout for a project we can experiment with in terms of what we call ‘lower impact housing’.”
The FPP preSelect® roof window is a patented design which enables it to be used in either top-hung or centre pivot mode. Change of operation is achieved by means of a switch in the side of the frame. For this project, thermal insulation has been enhanced through use of non-vented windows, while retention of the U-value is enhanced by virtue of shrink-resistant TPE seals which are standard in all FAKRO windows.
Leigh Bowen explained the decision to specify the FAKRO FPP. “As a practice we are always looking to partner with companies using innovative products which have a slightly different look and feel. In this case, we decided on a zinc standing seam roof at just 300mm centres so we needed the windows to have a low profile in order to enhance the external visual aesthetic. The narrow tray size gives a better rhythm to the roof line on such a small area whereas a standard installation would have had an incongruous appearance. We therefore needed bespoke elements of the outer cladding to accommodate this. The scope to change from top-hung to centre pivot operation was also attractive and we found FAKRO keen to meet our requirements.”
Leigh’s father-in-law Bob Harris is a lecturer in Ecological Building and a long standing member of the House of Commons / Lords ‘All Party Parliamentary Environment Group’. His expertise has been put to good use on a number of 50 Degree North Architects’ projects, including this one. Additional features include super insulation, mineralised concrete foundations and floor screeds, domestic flue gas heat recovery and use of newly invented automatic nitrogen/dissolved air removal technology for the heating system.
Images: Julia Toms Photography