This timber net-zero home is giving low energy homes a new and deeper meaning

For the past 10 years, PAD Studio has been conducting a study on the true environmental impact of low-energy homes. The studio has been studying the New Forest House for the past decade. The home is located within an 18.5-acre plot, which is situated adjacent to ancient woodland and heath, in the New Forest National Park. The building was carefully constructed to ensure that minimal disturbance was caused to the surrounding site, as well as the site’s sensitive landscape. The residence features the main house and a guest annex.

Designer: PAD Studio

The results of the decade-long study were quite interesting indeed. According to the results, the New Forest House is a 97% less expensive house to run as compared to a house built in accordance with 2021 building standards. The house utilizes 110% less energy as compared to a home powered by gas. The five-bedroom home is literally located in the middle of a forest. It has been built from timber, and has a rather simple design, allowing the nature surrounding it to truly shine through. The home also has a natural swimming hole and a self-contained guest annex.

The glazed elevations of the home feature timber louver shutters that maximize solar gain. The entire home has been topped with green roofing and has been amped with high levels of insulation to create a tight envelope. It is sealed and airtight, which holds the heat from the ground source heat pump, and has a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system. The home also features solar panels, thermal panels to heat water, and a rainwater harvesting system. The New Forest Home manages to be a net-zero home with carbon dioxide emissions that range from -2.46 to -0.76 annually.

The New Forest Home was built in accordance with the owner’s wish to have a home that lives within the landscape and supports the natural world. The green roof of the home functions as an ecological habitat. The swimming pond is a neat place for birds and insects to gather together, including the protected kingfisher. The thoughtfully constructed home is a beautiful and well-designed addition to the forest. It is tucked away in the trees and is surrounded by native grass, giving indoor-outdoor living a new and deeper meaning.