Paragraph 55 Architects

09

NIMBUS PROJECT
Paragraph 55 dwelling of outstanding and innovative design

Location
Cornwall

Disciplines
Paragraph 55 planning application. 
Architectural design. 
Biodiversity study. 
Carbon negativity study. 
Historical vernacular reference. 
Water harvesting.

Client
Private

Status
In progress

PROJECT OVERVIEW

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Simple innovation that has an intellectual elegance.

The ground floor follows the contours of the terrain and the upper floor responds to solar orientation. This simple design strategy creates a striking and individual appearance that conceals the complex, practical and energy producing features that generate a carbon negative building.

The construction materials of natural stone and corrugated iron reflect the mining heritage that was once so prevalent in the area. Water from the rain bearing Nimbus clouds is harvested for domestic and ecological use in a visually attractive manner.

Photovoltaic and solar thermal panels are designed into the building from the outset and hidden from view. The energy produced will not only power the building but also the motor vehicles; this contemporaneous feature will hopefully become the norm in the future.

GALLERY

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Architectural Form
Elevations
Design Innovation

HEAT STORE
Retaining walls are not uncommon in Cornwall owing to its corrugated terrain and the need to provide level access surfaces. Invariably there is a structural mass involved in any retaining wall design and in this instance, by the addition of insulation, it is turned into a thermal store; this simple innovation of using one constructional element for dual purposes could easily be repeated and is well suited to the Cornish terrain and future energy requirements. The diagrams below indicate the position of the thermal store within the building.

WATER SOURCE
Water is available on the site from two main sources; rainfall captured on the roofs and from a borehole that would be positioned towards the northern side of the site. The collection of water from the roof will be divided into two parts:

Roof A
This is the area of roof housing the PV panels which will have a polymeric waterproof membrane that can drain rainwater directly into a header tank via a filter. The header tank will be housed below ground at the rear of the garage where the ground is higher and would naturally form a head of water; the header tank would not be visible but would be easily accessible for maintenance purposes. The water from roof A would be used for flushing of toilets and washing machines etc.

Roof B
This the green roof area which will drain directly into the pond adjacent to the dwelling which will then run into the lower pond via the runnel. The pond adjacent to the house will provide a head of water that can be used for watering of plants.

Borehole
Local borehole engineers have established that fresh water would be available in sufficient quantities all year round to provide domestic potable needs and to top up the roof water header talk and ponds during times of drought or low rainfall.

Site context and local distinctiveness
Constraints and opportunities
Design Strategy