Wilson McMullen Architects, Portrush, Portstewart, Coleraine, County Antrim

Hasson House, Sustainable House, Portrush

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This is a replacement dwelling for a new house in Portrush that replaces an existing 2.5 storey house on the site. The client wanted a contemporary family home that was simple in form and massing but used very thermally efficient construction and high end materials and finishes. Given the long narrow nature of the site, the building is split into 3 subtle elements; the main house – a full 2.5 storey element; the garage and children’s bedroom wing; and a highly glazed entrance and link space. This helps to break down the massing of the building and create an interesting and exciting layout to live in.

The building is constructed from a jumbo timber frame which is highly insulated between the timber framework in a combination of compressed recycled newspapers (cellulose insulation) and sheep’s wool, and additionally within the cavity with a high density insulation board. This gives an extremely thermally efficient and sustainable construction. The roof and floors are also extremely well insulated. This construction is then wrapped in an airtight membrane that eliminates cold draughts and air movement minimising heat loss. The house utilises 2 solar panels which provide hot water to the home, a wood burning stove and a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system (MVHR) which captures any excess heat and uses it to warm fresh air that is circulated throughout the home. This gives a very energy efficient home as well as a healthy home.

The house is designed to maximise its relationship with the outside and to enjoy connections between the various levels within the house. You enter the house via an oversized hardwood door entering into a double height entrance hall that connects visually with the first floor landing above and outward to the rear garden giving visual interest. On the ground floor are located a large open plan kitchen (and pantry), dining and living space which open out into the garden and terrace areas via large sliding folding doors. A separate family room to the front of the house has a more intimate feel with a projecting modern zinc window seat and a wood burning stove. Additionally on the ground floor is a large utility room and garage.

On the first and second floors are located the main bedrooms with the childrens bedrooms enjoying a “Jack and Jill” bathroom. The master bedroom has a large walk-in wardrobe, ensuite and rear external terrace.

The house was completed in 2012. The clients have reported that the house is extremely well insulated and that their family life has been completely transformed by the open and thoughtful layout of rooms and their connection with the outside spaces.