The Energy Showcase

A Pioneering Solar House

External Appearance


The site purchased had detailed planning arial Viewconsent for a replacement dwelling with its principal facade facing the highway. This, though, happens to be to the north-north-west (NNW). Because a NNW orientation does not suit a solar house, the planning consent had to be amended after buying the plot so that the dwelling and its main rooms; i.e., living rooms and bedrooms, could face almost due south.

Its floor plan is rectangular, the internal dimensions being 5.2 by 11.1 metres. From the outside, on arrival, the most visible features are the white rendered walls and reclaimed slate roof. The gutters, downpipes and roof glazing bars are stainless steel, which is expected to last as long as the house.

Its north roof is a ‘catslide’, with the eaves one storey off the ground. Below the catslide are ‘subsidiary’ spaces such as an entrance porch and larder. The south wall is a normal two storeys high.

To the south of the house is a single-glazed lean-to greenhouse. This ancillary space plays a small role in improving the house’s winter thermal performance. It plays a greater role in out-of-season food growing.

House north roof, reclaimed Welsh slate

House north roof, including the porch and house rooflights which provide daylight from above.

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Covered area above the house entrance on the north-west. The reclaimed Welsh slates are laid to diminishing thicknesses.


Garage Roof 170914

Garage roof, consisting of random width slates laid to diminishing courses

House South Wall, Showing the Lean-To Greenhouse

House south wall, showing the lean-to greenhouse nearly finished




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Back garden path made from broken slates left over from the building work.

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Garden path made from reclaimed sandstone slabs.