Sunday, February 19, 2012

Julian Marsh house

18 Feb 2012: Project Nottingham organised a visit to Julian Marsh's house in the Meadows, Nottingham. Although I have seen it from the outside, and heard Julian's lecture and read the article in the Architects Journal, I hadn't seen the interior. 
Panoramic image of the front, with the house closely touching the neighbours at the corner - significantly reducing their heat losses. The front entrance has steps because it was built before the recent Severn-Trent flood prevention bank was built, and there is disabled access at the side door.
Steel Stair and Bottle Wall - the stair is of bent mild steel plate, and the baluster has stretched flexible PVC curtaining of the sort used in warehouses - a reminiscence of the old Meat Factory on the site. The wall is of concrete shelves alternating with recycled Ecover bottles filled with salt water. This has a high thermal capacity (4 times that of concrete) and soaks up winter sun, and releases it later. I am inspired to start collecting bottles myself now! The grilles in the floor allow cool air from the cavity below the ground floor during the hot months of summer.
 Wood-burning stove and flue at the centre of the house in the double height living space. There is also a large roof light above, cascading the room with daylight. Most of the floor is light cream coloured rubber surface, giving high daylight levels internally.
Rainwater purification filters - these provide most of the cold water, except the main CW tap in the kitchen that remains connected to the mains. The house is heated by a Dimplex ground source heat pump, with underfloor heating. There is a MVHR system for ventilation support, and the ground and first floors have concrete ceilings for optimum thermal mass.
 Teak washbasin in the bathroom - and there is teak flooring in the shower. As the ensuite bathroom is furthest from the stair, it has a concealed door which leads to a fire escape.
Entrance courtyard elevation - the garden is full of raised vegetable beds, and under the walkway is a 4000 litre rainwater storage tank. The PV array is facing due south at the perfect angle. There are more PVs behind the beam above the roof. There are fixing points for a wind turbine that never happened because of opposition from the planners.
  There are many other features, such as the composting toilet, the use of a larder instead of a fridge, the sunspace design of the front facade, the use of flitched parallax beams and columns, multi walled polycarbonate panels, parking space for electric car, and more that make this house totally unique and unrepeatable - it is totally born of the spirit of its location and of Julian's ingenuity.


  1. Thank you for sharing superb information. Your web site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across.

    1. Thankyou for your very kind comments. I regularly comb through the pages to make sure that they are up to date and make sense. Some of the things i do (especially when embarking on 'plumbing adventures') cause me quite a lot of decision-making anxiety beforehand, and it is nice that there are people out there sharing in the details of this project.


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