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New Farmhouse

Location: East Ayrshire, Scotland
Completion Status: Spring 2013 Occupancy: Spring 2013
Architect: Kirsty Maguire Architect Ltd from warrant stage. Kirsty Maguire was project architect for the project in another practice up to planning stage. Consultant: Passivhaus Consultant: Kirsty Maguire Architect Ltd; MVHR: Paul Heat Recovery Scotland; Structural Engineer: Morgan Associates, Dundee
Contractor: Hope Homes Client: Private Client
Certification: July 2013 Certifier: WARM
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WINNER in the Bespoke Project Design category for the UK Passivhaus Awards 2014. Standing on a rise in rolling farmland, with views to the sea, Ailsa Craig & Arran, the dramatic setting required a bold & sensitive approach to root the farmhouse in its context. Rather than create another ‘house’, the farm cluster was extended in a traditional way - adding a vernacular hayshed - with colours chosen to match the red earth. 

The Scottish tradition of timber frame construction was refined to improve details & ensure it was ‘simple to make airtight’ through research & collaboration with the contractor. Fuel poverty is a huge issue in rural housing in Scotland and Passivhaus was ideal as, typically for a rural property, energy supply options are limited and expensive. Not only has the demand been minimised through the fabric first design, but carefully selected renewables have been installed. The house is heated using local timber in the wood stove and electricity. Domestic hot water is provided using an air to air heat pump, linked to the extract of the MVHR for maximum efficiency. The constant wind on the exposed site will soon be harnessed too, allowing the house to be heated and powered entirely from the site itself, further expressing the close relationship of this farmhouse to the land.


New farmhouse, Seamless Zinc cladding

Construction is timber frame: I Joist walls, curved glulam roof structure and concrete slab with recyclable zinc cladding. The recycled glass insulation is Scottish sourced and manufactured, as are the I Joists and glulam beams.

The process was one of close collaboration between a knowledgeable Client and the whole team which allowed the challenges of the project to be anticipated and resolved without compromising the outcome.


Sustainability features

  • Primary Energy Demand: 101 kWh/m2.a
  • Heating Demand: 13kWh/m2.a
  • Heating & Cooling Load: Heating 9W/m2, No cooling.
  • Air pressure result: 0.22 ach @50Pa
  • Ventilation strategy: Paul Novus 300
  • Heating strategy: Electricity & Wood: 2-4kW wood stove, 3x0.5kW electric radiators & 2x0.25kW towel rails.
  • Shading strategy: Deep set windows and brise soleil
  • U-Values: Wall 0.11, Floor 0.12, Roof 0.11, Windows 0.84


Further Information:

Kirsty Maguire Architects




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