Hampstead Cottage

"This project is the conservation of a fine grade II listed cottage in the heart of Hampstead. It was a journey through history, unexpected findings and imaginative design. The repairs were carried out on site by skilful joiners using high quality timber, with sensitive bespoke detailing and pragmatic considerations. Sustainable timber and like-for-like materials were sourced for reinstatements and new elements. Although the listing allows more flexibility towards the rigorous building control standards, we aimed for a higher level of sustainable fabric upgrading. It was a successful project for our clients and we hope it will act as guidance for conservation retrofit projects in the future."

Sarah Khan, Roger Mears Architects

Project location: Hampstead, London

Building completion date: May 2016

Building size: 144m2

Construction type: Masonry

Building use: Residential

Architect/designer: Roger Mears Architects

Contractor: ASAP Construction Ltd

Consultants: The Morton Partnership Ltd (Structural Engineer), Greendoor (Building Control), Dale Ingram MSc CHE FRSA (History), Helen Hughes ACR FIIC (Paint Analysis & Conservation)

Whole-life carbon

Project highlight: The judges were particularly impressed with the concern for minimising the amount of additional embodied carbon added to the building fabric during refurbishment. Many of the existing materials were in fact older reclaimed construction materials dating back centuries, some far more durable than modern alternatives.

The project team went to great extents to preserve the existing fabric by carefully repairing existing internal timber panelling and external weatherboarding, and replacing incompatible recent refurbishment materials with appropriate, low embodied carbon natural fibre products such as sheep's wool and woodfibre.

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