Low-Energy Rear Extension

Project Info

  • Construction Date


  • Location

    Woodingdean, Brighton

The brief

As the owners move towards a time in their lives where they want to use their home to follow their passions their brief was to create a studio, an office and a storage room in the large rear garden. The extension should be integrated with the current property, future-proofed and encompass triple glazed windows and doors as used in the existing bungalow.

The property

The property is a 1950s detached bungalow. It had a dilapidated garage to the side, and a small front and a large rear garden. The hipped roof is tiled on all four sides, the walls yellow bricks at the base with pebble dash above. Previous work to the bungalow included internal refurbishment, a new porch and the replacement of all the windows and doors with triple glazed PVC units.

The solution

Demolish the garage and replace it with a large (28 sq.m.) single–storey extension following the line of the northern boundary. The extension is linked to the bungalow and has direct access to the rear garden. The level floor runs through from the bungalow to the extension and the wide doorway from the existing to the new allows easy access. A drop in ceiling height in the link marks the boundary between the domestic and the working space.
The AECB Silver standard was used as the benchmark for the detailing and thermal efficiency targets for the extension. The extension has a warm flat roof, PVC triple glazed windows and sliding doors, minimal thermal bridges, good air-tightness and thick cavity walls allowing for 200mm of cavity insulation.

The result

The extension provides a large, light and airy studio, office space, and a big storage room and much of the sunny rear garden remains. Internally, the original space flows through to the extension but is distinct from the residential parts of the property. The AECB Silver Standard keeps the extension warm, in the winter and cool in the summer with very low heating costs. Externally the extension is clearly an addition but the link connects the old and the new and unites the domestic with the workspace. Through the use of matching materials the extension both compliments and reflects the existing form and there is visual harmony.

“We are very grateful to Martin for showing us what’s possible in terms of thermal insulation in a new-build property. Our annex requires surprisingly little heating in winter and, despite being south facing, it doesn’t get overly hot in the summer. He provided impressively detailed specifications for the builder, and when the work was in progress he visited the site regularly, forming a good professional relationship with the builder to facilitate the achievement of what had been planned. We found Martin to be reliable, easy to contact and communicative.”

JS & BM, Brighton