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Askew Cavanna Case Study

Submitted by Tess S on Thu, 09/24/2020 – 09:33

Backwell Eco Homes

Built on a plot formerly occupied by a large unused warehouse, this low-energy, low-impact eco-home takes full advantage of its magnificent setting within the North Somerset Countryside. The house was recently completed as a self-build project by husband & wife team for their young family, who brought the plot with planning permission obtained by Askew Cavanna.

The house is designed to merge into the landscape and provide habitats for native flora and fauna via its large overhanging timber structure on the south-elevation, and the green roofed outbuildings. Entirely clad in timber, the house will weather over time and blend further back into the surrounding rural setting. The internal layout and window positions have been carefully designed to focus views across the open countryside. A holistic approach to sustainability has been adopted, with passive design principles to reduce heat loss and maximise the benefit from passive solar-gain. The main structure was prefabricated offsite with twin-wall timber frame infill with high-density cellulose fibre insulation, and assembled on site in 5 days. The 190sqm home has openable roof lights near the ridge of the building for stack ventilation, MVHR, an extensive array of integrated solar PVs and an Air-Source Heat Pump for underfloor heating and hot water.

As long-standing members of the Green Register, the practice regularly attends events from the association, which allows us to stay up to date with the latest and most relevant environmental & sustainable issues. Recent events on carbon footprint reduction, heat pumps and Passive house have influenced and informed our approach to sustainable design – this project being a fitting example.

Technical Specifics:

• MVHR: Zehnder ComfoAir Q

• AIR-SOURCE HEAT PUMP: Mitsubishi Ecodan with 200L thermal store for underfloor heating and hot water

• SOLAR PANELS: Integrated Viridian Solar

• The 7.2kWp solar array is comprised of 24 PV modules and will generate in excess of 15,118kWh of clean energy per year, mitigating a further 4,188kg of carbon emissions per annum.

• BATTERY STORAGE: future-proof for the installation of a Tesla Powerwall battery to store any excess solar power

For more information, visit their website at

Askew Cavanna 1
Askew Cavanna Backwell Eco Homes
Askew Cavanna Exterior View
Askew Cavanna 3
Askew Cavanna Timber Pergola
ASkew Cavanna Exterior View 2
Askew Cavanna Interior View Kitchen