This was the first residential project we develop with the AirClad system. This project was the basis for the development of the main core principles to the AirClad as we have it today. The project was allowed to have a long gestation period for this was a working process with many new engineering and manufacturing details be resolved as the project progressed. The client embraced this and benefited from the unique result in the end.
The AirClad extension is built in the ground where there was an underground pond discovered when the main barn was being built. For this reason the AirClad is in fact at ground level from outside and required a lot more pre preparation to the site before we could erect the AirClad. In fact this project required 80% to 20% in terms of site to AirClad. This would not normally be the case if we were not needing to tank the pod and build in underground water pumps for high rain fall dispersal.
All the site development photos are available to view. The Client wanted to create a structure to join to the main building that would allow them incorporate the inside outside space with a very honest feeling to the fact that the pod is in fact a light weight structure bolted straight to the lower walls of the barn. The space is used as an office come play room, and as we write there are plans to turn the room into a subterranean bedroom with open planned jacuzzi!
We as designers were in fact looking at the challenge to create a light weight cost effective way to construct a contemporary conservatory. We want and industrial yet homely feel to the finish product. The AirClad is eco but we were not trying to create an obvious eco pod extension either. A glass cube cube maybe easier to describe our aim, but again trying not to be so cold. We found the use of simple inflated walls in frosted foils membranes mounted to varnished exposed 75mm thick structural spruce ply allowed this techno yet warm result. The added bonus was the frosted foil creates a fantastic natural glow at night with the simplest of LED lighting turned on inside.
The joining to the main building required it to become water tight and we used the tradition lead flashing technique which we felt gave the right touch between the old and the new. Under the flashing is our silicon extrusion which creates the water and cold bridge to the AirClad extension. The inside brick from the old barn is left completely exposed, keeping the industrial feeling. The flooring from the old to the new is one continuos slab of grey concrete type tiles with underfloor heating. The AirClad is fully engineered as a permanent building and has sufficient strength to take a roof terrace mounted on top of it for the floor above to open out onto.
While we had more than our fair share of problems to resolve we were able to deliver an exciting challenging functional extension to a barn which now questions old and introduces new methods of building construction to the domestic market. The AirClad is designed and engineered to be installed using recognised building methods within the traditional building industry, but with a combination of materials that are not. The project build cost was £25,000.