Low Energy Extension Uffculme

This project was for a low energy extension to a listed building in the village of Uffculme. Dating back to 1720, the house is full of historic character, and has seen at least three earlier extensions since it's creation. Each extension has made use of the prevailing construction technology of the era: 1720 - Cob, 1800's - Solid stone, 1980's concrete block, 1990's insulated concrete block. With this extension we're adding another chapter in the history of this dwelling, using insulated timber framing as the construction system this time.


Working with listed buildings can be particularly challenging. Yet this extension has been designed subservient  to the existing building and to have a light touch in it's physical connection.

This project has been designed along the following key principles: 


  • Achieve u-values of 0.15W/m2K through the roof and walls using high levels of natural wood fibre insulation. Total wall thickness of 450mm. 
  • A U-value of 0.12W/m2K was measured using heat flux sensors.
  • Achieve very good airtightness levels through good detailing and careful sealing of corners, service penetrations and openings.
  • Use materials of low embodied energy.
  • Locally sourced natural materials wherever possible.
  • Use healthy materials (Internal finishes with low or zero VOC’s).
  • Minimise construction waste.
  • Use energy-saving light fittings.
  • Utilise a mixed mode ventilation strategy.


The ground floor is a new living room, with a home office on the first floor. The high levels of thermal performance are demonstrated through ongoing measurements that show the office maintains at least a 20oC temperature throughout the year without the need for additional heating. 


This project was completed in summer 2020.

The new extension has a pitched roof of traditional slates. Reflecting the modernity of the design, vertical untreated timber cladding is used for the external walls. The timber boarding contrasts with the existing dwelling to show the different ages of construction in a sympathetic way, and reflects the green ethos of this construction, creating a visually attractive building for the local area.

arb Architects Registration Board

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4 Coldharbour, Uffculme Devon, EX15 3EE

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