5 Architect-Designed Passive Houses in Coastal Village of Findhorn

Coast2Coast Architects has recently lodged a Planing Application with The Moray Council for 5 new Passive Houses.  Sylvan Heath Development is located adjacent to the Beach Road, Heathneuk, Findhorn. 

Sylvan Heath is a group of contemporary new houses designed to fit in with character of the village of Findhorn and the landscape setting of the Beach access road. It is our intention to re-establish the traditional ‘seatown’ rhythm of gables and building forms in this new housing development to the south of the village. Each of the houses have been designed to be different and to make the most of the landscape plot around them however all the houses use a common language of materials, colours and landscape elements in order to give a distinctive and co- ordinated design approach to Sylvan Heath. Each of the dwellings has been designed to meet the highest environmental and energy performance standards incorporating the use of renewable energy heating systems. 

Building forms have been arranged on site to provide a street frontage of gables, set-back from the road edge. Care has been taken to ensure long views from principal first floor accommodation across Dunelands to the sea / bay without compromising the privacy of adjacent neighbours. Each dwelling is arranged around and opens-up onto a private south-facing, sheltered garden space. Front doors located adjacent to private off-street parking spaces. Each dwelling has a mixture of two storey & single storey accommodation. The scale of each house has been reduced with single story gables. Extended eaves have been used to create covered porches, canopies and external wood stores. 

Traditional materials are used in the development. External Wall finishes comprising Scots-harl render, painted timber cladding and natural slate roofing has been used throughout. Specific design features in cladding and chimney elements are made in Hopeman sandstone. External windows & doors are made of painted timber. Solar Hot Water panels will be slated into the main roof elevations whereas Solar Photovoltaic panels (where installed) are located on garage roof structures only. 

A specific design intention has been to arrange each house on its plot to give a variety of sheltered outdoor space depending on the time of day or the direction of the weather. Each house creates outdoor space that is protected from the cold north-east winds and gives shelter to south-facing garden spaces. Each of the sites will retain a degree of undulating landscape to maintain the character of the dune environment. Garages & walls are used to provide screening from the Beach Road. Driveways to be covered with mixed size beach gravel stone pebbles, from Lossiemouth Quarry to a give permeable surface. Privacy & security to the main garden spaces formed by internal garden walls and picket fences. Indigenous planting comprising Birch, Rowan, Hawthorn, Alder & Scots-Pine are proposed around the perimeter of each plot. While within the plot the use of natural sandstone has been continued for sections of garden walling. 

It is intended to enhance the rural character of the existing Beach Road, maintaining the 3.0m width and pedestrian / cycle priority. Use of large section larch Sleepers & Posts re-introduce the theme of beach groynes and are used to form site entrance walls and driveway gates. A shared road carriageway with a 20mph design speed will be built to standards for adoption by Moray Council Roads. Passing places to be paved in small section ‘natural’ block paving with cross fall drainage to cobble style verge detail. Utilities are located in Service Zone at road verge, overlain with beach stone pebbles and planted with local Marram grass. Low-level street lighting is proposed built into heavy-section larch posts located at driveway entrances and on the gables of each garage.