A modest town centre residence in Hammersmith and Fulham, London has been garnering much media attention for its highly sustainable properties at an affordable cost. Designed by architect Robert Dalziel and engineer Tim Battle with delivery partner Davis Langdon, an AECOM company and AECOM, Rational House was built as a private prototype project by the design team ‘in order to demonstrate the concept and the deliverability’. It was then sold to a personal friend of the architect.
Built using a panelised system the scheme has very little negative effect on the surrounding community during construction and is comparatively swift to assemble. In essence the project looks to provide a solution to housing issues in the United Kingdom where there is high demand for residential structures. Dalziel is co-author of A House in the City which considers the alternatives to high-rise residential buildings due to the large financial and energy costs these projects demand and their effects on various communities.
Rational House has been designed as an alternative to high-rise residential properties in response to the need for housing in the UK, however the design team explains: “We have received a lot of interest from New Zealand and so that is one area that we are currently exploring.” The units are priced at approximately £95 per sq ft for shell only and £145 per sq ft for a fully fitted home.
At the moment a single prototype has been completed in Hammersmith and Fulham; a 3-bedroom, 4-storey property at 150 sq m internally with 36 sq m of external space. It is a very eco-friendly design, with external walls that are made of insulated sandwich panels and therefore have a very high level of thermal mass, natural stack ventilation via the stairwell, two rainwater butts and low water use fittings, 1kW of photovoltaic panels on the roof which also provide shading for the top floor study, and triple glazed windows among other things.