Name: Two Houses Covent Garden

Facts and Figures

Architect: Nicholas Ray Associates
Client: S.K.Ray
Location: 13-15 Covent Garden, Cambridge
Date: 2005-6

Further Information

These two houses are built on the car park in front of Nicholas Ray Associates offices. They do not have gardens, but the kitchen/dining rooms on the second floor open on to a roof terrace. The main living room and bedroom are on the first floor, with a small study on the ground floor. This upside-down arrangement means that even in winter the living spaces get sunshine because they are not overshadowed.

Most houses in Britain are heated using gas or oil burning boilers. These houses are heated using a heat pump, a system which is common in Scandinavia and the USA. In the same way that a fridge uses electricity to move heat energy from the inside of the fridge to the outside the fridge, a heat pump uses electricity to move heat energy from the ground to the house. In a fridge, the inside of the fridge ends up colder, and the back of the fridge ends up warmer. With these houses, the ground ends up very slightly cooler, and the houses end up warmer. Without a heat pump, a direct electric heater would use 1kwh of electricity to produce 1kwh of heat. With a heat pump, 1kwh of electricity produces 4kwh of heat in the house 1kwh from the electricity, and 3kwh from the ground. It is thus an efficient method of heating and, provided the electricity is generated from renewable resources, it is carbon neutral.


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Two Houses  
Two Houses