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Tan Yr Esgair  |  House Extension & Renovation

Ruthin, Denbighshire, 2021

The original property was a decent sized family house, but it was cold, damp, unattractive and had a poor layout. Our client shares our ethos that the most sustainable house is the one that already exists, but is retrofit to a high standard with sustainable materials. Enerphit is the Passive House standard for retrofitting existing buildings. It is an exacting task that requires a lot of investigation and understanding of the existing building to then come up with appropriate solutions.

The main focus of retrofit is to improve the thermal performance of the house, manage moisture and improve air quality. The most complex areas are around junctions, where if not property insulated they can become cold bridges. These areas then lose heat and cause condensation, where mould can grow. Our client project managed the construction works himself, to ensure that each specialist contractor met the necessary exacting requirements. We were impressed how much knowledge he gained through the process and his own research and has undoubtably made him an expert in the field. We love it when this happens on a project and someone shares our enthusiasm for sustainable construction.

Tan yr Esgair Front Elevation Aerial Ruthin Evergreen Architects.jpg
Tan yr Esgair Front Elevation Ruthin Evergreen Architects
Tan yr Esgair Stair core Ruthin Evergreen Architects
Tan yr Esgair Aerial Ruthin Evergreen Architects

To improve the layout of the house, we removed the existing staircase to create more space in the house and replaced it with an external stair core. We simplified the circulation and created access to the attic conversion. A cantilevered balcony leads out from the stair core to give views over the surrounding landscape and also serves a canopy over the main entrance.

The pebble-dash was removed and replaced with black steel, timber cladding and render give the house a crisp, modern aesthetic. Breathable wood fibre insulation wraps around the existing walls, with bead insulation blown into the cavity to improve its thermal performance. The ground floor was infilled with glass rock and the underfloor heating is fed by an air source heat pump. A new MVHR system maintains a healthy air quality and wicks away the moisture from the bathrooms and kitchen. Our client sourced some lightweight flexible solar modules which are barely visible from ground level and therefore have minimal impact on the aesthetic of the standing seam steel roof.

Tan yr Esgair Side Elevation Ruthin Evergreen Architects
Tan yr Esgair Porch Ruthin Evergreen Architects
Tan Esgair Construction 1 - EA - June 2022.jpg
Tan yr Esgair existing photo
Tan Yr Esgair house extension collage Evergreen Architects

Sustainability Credentials

  • Enerphit design and construction

  • Super-insulated: 50mm cavity beads + 120mm woodfibre

  • Airtight

  • Sustainable materials: Locally sourced larch cladding

  • Triple glazing

  • Renewable energy: Air source heat pump + photovoltaic panels

  • Mechanical ventilation and heat recovery​

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