"Moya" a hybrid solar house in Charsfield, UK

This house was built for my parents in 1982, after 2 appeals against refusal of planning permission by the Suffolk Coastal District Council. The site was next door to "Delta", built for my family in 1974. The first design was similar to "Delta" in having a steep pitched slate roof, and all timber construction, with a very large glazed greenhouse/conservatory all along the South side. But it was more radical in locating all the main living accommodation on the first floor so that warm air from the lower conservatory could rise by convection and circulate through it. This design resulted from the conclusions of the research carried out at Sheffield University in the SHED project. On the ground floor was to be the garage and a pottery studio for my mother (see drawings) . After the application to build it was refused, I modified the design to meet the objections of the Council, but the design was refused again, as being "..out of character with the locality..". I appealed again and won the right to build it.

This design was used in slightly modified form for the 1st European Solar Housing Competition in which I received 2nd prize. The competition drawings can be seen in the pages for Paxton Court. This project was also based partly on the competition layout and house type.

This single-storey "L" shaped house had a greenhouse/conservatory all along the South-West and South-East sides. Under the house was a "hypocaust" - widely spaced bricks on an insulated concrete sub-slab supporting a floor slab. Warm air from the top of the conservatory was drawn down by an electric fan, behind a glazed 'collector' over the doors into the conservatory. The warmed air was blown through the floor space, and returned trough grilles into the conservatory. The construction was partly timber framed, with insulated cavity walls on the North sides. The roof and walls were very well insulated with mineral wool. A feature of this type of house also used in the Paxton Court houses, was insulated shutters inside the conservatory, that can be closed at night. In summer, they can be lifted off their hinges to form a ceiling inside the conservatoty, shading it.

The heating was a wood burning stove/boiler heating radiators and the domestic hot water tank.