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EllisMiller Architects

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Eco House

An exemplar carbon-neutral kit house.

Designed as part of a development of 25 eco-friendly houses, the Eco-House is an exemplar, kit-of-parts carbon-neutral house. It was sponsored by the Commission for New Towns and the National House Building Council, with the aim of ‘demonstrating how homeowners can save money by utilising energy-saving and construction technologies’.

The house was designed to be constructed using sustainable resources such as locally sourced timber and recycled copper, and to minimise the use of non-sustainable resources both in its construction and its subsequent lifetime. The engineered timber frame uses the minimum amount of materials and demonstrates opportunities for pre-fabrication.

The deceptively simple plan consists of a large open-plan, double-height living room, private spaces tucked into the rear and the above mezzanine and an open bay to the side for future infilling. The house’s unmissable feature is the flexible 6m x 3m structural grid of Douglas fir columns, which along the centre-line of the house branch into fir struts, so becoming ‘trees’, particularly effective since you arrive at ‘treetop level’ on the mezzanine.

“EllisMiller have used of environmentally friendly materials and technology in a way that could easily transfer into the general housing market. The house is simple, elegant and spacious”. Dan Cruickshank, Perspectives

Galvanising Association Award 1996
British Steel Award 1999


Eco House