Lime House: Soft Landings winter workshop

bere:architects & C.Zografou

In this film, the residents of the Lime House reveal that they leave the master bedroom window open at night in the winter quite frequently. Even so, they are very happy with their low bills, even though the bills could be lower still. The key question though is whether they open the window at night in Winter because (a) the air is too warm for them at night, or (b) they like CO2 levels at almost outdoor levels or (c) this is a habit perhaps inherited from parents.

When I interviewed the residents for this film, my first reaction was that the problem is most likely to be (b) or (c) and I thought of providing a night boost button for the air supply. In fact I didn't think of (a) at all, but Alan Clarke suggested that (a) is the most likely reason. In the Lime House for simplicity there is no time control for the top-up heating and Alan thinks that on reflection we should put in time control or a setback thermostat, and I agree with him. We will do this in time for next winter and see what the occupants feel about the change. Maintaining the ability to provide cooler air at night in winter (as in Larch House) may be an important lesson for the design team going forward.

Justin Bere, March 2013.