September 1, 2018
When Worcester based architect Nick Carroll was approached to design a Passive House inspired home that would be built on the very cliff face of the Malvern Hills, he knew it would be a once in a lifetime project for its owners.
Boasting over 18km of sweeping hillside and woodland between Herefordshire and Worcestershire, the Malvern Hills is one of the most iconic landscapes of England’s countryside, offering uninterrupted views as far as the eye can see. With such impressive views it’s not hard to see why Worcester based architect, Nick Carroll, was approached by a client hoping to make the most of them by building a family home on the cliff face itself.
Aptly named ‘Old Hollow’, the property became a completely new challenge for homeowner, Jonathan Flewers, who had unusually never seen the plot before purchasing. A top priority for Jonathan was creating an energy efficiency space, after being heavily influenced by Passive House designs and the ecological principles it implements in a property.
The newly constructed, three-storey property features an ‘upside down’ design that maximises the sweeping views and abundance of natural light of the Malvern Hills, with living areas on the top floor and bedrooms comprising the lower floors. Designed to be spacious and family friendly, the living areas on the third floor are entirely open plan.
Speaking of the build, Nick said: “Our brief was to design a unique cliffside property that was founded upon the principles of Passive House design. To ensure we achieved the best results I took the client along to a Passive House training session. We used materials such as stone, timber and glass to achieve this. Most of the stone we used was recycled from the hill itself, which we obtained during the digging process when laying the foundations. All products were chosen especially for their thermal efficiency.”
The structure was insulated internally and externally with all walls, floors and ceilings thermally upgraded to achieve the greatest level of thermal performance possible. This was extended to the specification of rooflights and windows chosen, with Jonathan wanting to maximise as much natural light and ventilation into the property. To support the energy efficiency of the home, triple glazing was specified as standard. Roof Maker’s 2m x 1m fixed flat rooflight was specified to be installed above the stairwell, with its triple glazing supporting the energy efficient design of the property.
Nick commented, “Roof Maker’s fixed flat rooflight was specified for the feature stairwell to help flood it with natural light. With a U value of 0.8 on the triple glazing combined with aluminium frames that offered exceptional heat insulation, the product was in keeping with the build’s environmental ethos.
“The rooflight was fitted on a north facing hill, lighting the stairwell from the roof, complying with the Passive House design principles. The recommendation of the fixed flat rooflight prompted us to design the staircase differently so the natural light would fill the entire area”.
In total, the project took three years to complete, with Nick and Jonathan working closely together throughout the entire process to create a unique family home. From its upside down approach, to the layout in the cliff side and the ecological design principles, Old Hollow is a one of a kind property that will be part of the Flewers family for years to come.
Find out more about the fixed flat rooflight on our website. Alternatively, call the Roof Maker team on 0116 269 6297 to find out how a rooflight could be best used in your project.
July 31, 2018
Contemporary family home in Saltash is bathed in natural light thanks to Roof Maker’s sleek Slimline® roof lantern
Roof Maker was approached by Neil Carroll who was looking to create his dream contemporary family home. The stunning project, designed with the help of celebrity architectural designer Charlie Luxton, was to be featured on the channel 4 television show Building The Dream.
With advice from Charlie Luxton, Carroll was aiming to create a family home that was both amazing and affordable. He oversaw the project from start to finish, beginning in December 2014 and completed in January 2017.
Roof Maker was asked to help bring the wow factor to the sunroom with their triple-glazed Slimline® roof lantern. They were tasked to install this rooflight in just one day.
The Slimline® roof lantern, officially the slimmest in the UK, successfully accomplished the frameless, modern look. With a Ug-value of only 0.7 w/m2k, it also helped to achieve an impressive thermal efficiency in the heavily glazed room.
Overall, the result is stunning from both the exterior and interior. The rooflight added to the 500mm alloy facia fitted to trim the flat roof. The interior is equally impressive, with grey, aluminium windows stretching across the two walls of the sunroom.
Find out more about the Slimline® lantern on our website. Alternatively, call the Roof Maker team on 0116 269 6297 to find out how the lantern could be best used in your project.
July 3, 2018
This unique one-bedroom duplex penthouse was converted from a disused water tank space in a rapidly changing area of East London.
This conversion of a former water tank space is based at the very top of the 16-storey Keeling House, the Grade II* listed brutalist block of flats designed by Sir Denys Lasdun in 1959. The building is located 500m from Bethnal Green underground station, just off Hackney Road.
The heavily glazed flat offers incredible views across central London, with sunrises from the bedroom, sunsets from the bathroom and star-gazing from the rooflight.
The concrete structure has been insulated internally with the walls, floors and ceiling all being upgraded thermally. Architect, Brian Heron, wanted to keep the space feeling raw and honest, with references to its former use as an enclosure for water tanks.
The walls and ceiling are lined with orientated strand board which provides a visual warmth but is also robust and hard-wearing. The choice of material is also very practical in that the homeowners are able to easily hang things on the walls and put up shelves wherever needed. An essential convenience in any 1-bedroom property.
It took Brian and his wife Ayesha just over 2 years to convert the empty concrete shell with plywood sides into the industrial style penthouse it is today. All in all, the project cost £420,000 – which was £170,000 more than initially budgeted. Costs quickly rocketed due to complications that come with building on top of a tower block, such as needing 18 floors of scaffolding and having to close the road below multiple times.
Brian wanted to fit an opening flat rooflight directly above the bed, to help bring additional natural light and ventilation into the bedroom. Triple glazing was also a must to help with thermal regulation. After searching online, he decided on the 1m x 1m flat electric sliding unit by Roof Maker. It was the only triple glazed, opening rooflight that Brian could find, plus lead times were good and the price was competitive.
Brian commented “the rooflight is the crowning glory of the bedroom. We designed a raised bed and the rooflight is directly above it so we can lie in bed at night and look up at the stars. It’s beautiful”.
“There is a lovely play of light over the bed during the day as the sun passes overhead. As the rooflight is an electric slider, it can open to provide additional ventilation and access to the roof for maintenance, or just to take in the amazing 360-degree views of the London skyline.”
The project was awarded Best Historic Intervention at the New London Architecture ‘Don’t Move, Improve 2018’ Awards.
Find out more about the flat slide opening rooflight on our website. Alternatively, call the Roof Maker team on 0116 269 6297 to find out how a rooflight could be best used in your project.
June 26, 2018
Natural light and ventilation is introduced to this copper roof extension by the Slimline® slide opening roof lantern.
A unique copper roof twist was brought to this 1805 residential end of terrace in the Wickham Market area. The character property sits on a large plot overlooking the River Deben, within a conservation area. As such, the design of the extension also needed to delicately respect the other character properties in the area.
The copper roof successfully introduced a quirky, modern touch to the otherwise traditional design. Whilst certainly a costlier option, handmade bricks were used to match the original bricks in the rest of the property. This helped to maintain the overall character feel.
Homeowner Paul both designed and built the property with the help of his partner. From start to completion, the timescale for the extension was two and a half years – an impressive feat given both of them were also working full-time.
Every aspect of the self-build extension was carried out by the homeowners. “I wanted to use the best materials I could get. From from the handmade bricks to match the originals, the copper roof for its beauty and the roof lantern because it was the best I could buy” shared Paul. Thanks to zero labor costs, the extension was achieved within their £35,000 budget.
Natural light and ventilation was the main challenge of the project. Paul was unable to fit windows to the ground floor kitchen extension as they would have looked through to the neighbour’s garden. After lots of desktop research, he decided that the 2000 x 1000mm Slimline® slide opening lantern offered the best solution.
“I chose the Slimline® rooflight because it was the only lantern I could find that opened and didn’t need an ugly prop, which would have ruined the look of the roof. I also liked the very narrow frame which is nearly invisible”.
Paul wanted the flexibility of being able to open the roof lantern in the summer or whilst cooking to help maintain a comfortable temperature in the kitchen. The quality of the components, such as the remote control opening vent and the free rain sensor, also drew him to the Slimline® lantern. Paul and his partner decided to install the lantern themselves. They found it a breeze with the help of the fitting guide and installation video on Youtube.
“The roof lantern is a real showpiece. It looks amazing from the inside and stunning from above. Thermally it is also great, the room does not get too warm. When you cook, you can use the remote control to open the rooflight and feel the hot air simply vanish!”
Find out more about the Slimline® slide opening lantern on our website. Alternatively, call the Roof Maker team on 0116 269 6297 to find out how the lantern could be best used in your project.
March 3, 2017
If you’re looking for a brilliant rooflight case study – then this contemporary and carbon-neutral home wass flooded with natural light with the help of Roof Maker’s products.
We were proud to see our skylights complement this property, which in 2016 featured on Grand Designs.
Situated on the edge of the West Pennine Moors in Bolton’s beautiful countryside, this eco-home was the work of builder Paul Rimmer. The quality and finish of the property highlights how in his career, Paul has honed his expertise on many home-building projects.
A bricklayer by trade, this traditional craftsman hasn’t shied away from modernity. From the timber frame to the large and open-plan living areas, this is a property which oozes modernity and style.
Such a contemporary finish couldn’t have been achieved without our fixed flat rooflights, which allow natural light to accentuate the clean lines of the sharp white interior.
Stairwells and landings are traditionally hard areas to light, but the effective use of large dual flat rooflights has helped solve this problem. Instead of a stairwell lacking in sunlight, it instead has windows not only on both sides, but also above. This creates an area which effectively traps natural light, and is sure to be a feature-piece of this outstanding property.
Close affinity with the surrounding idyllic countryside was the overall aim of this environmentally-friendly home. What better way for this to property to blend with its surroundings than to allow sunlight to stream in from all angles?
As well as complementing the look of the home, our skylights help it work towards its energy efficiency goals. With natural light flooding in, there’s less need to use electric lighting, and the thermal performance of the rooflights is second to none. Their triple glazing performs up to 40% better than regular double glazed rooflights. As in this case, large areas of space can be devoted to skylights without concern that they will lead to heat loss.
It was great to see our rooflights contribute to this zero-carbon home, and we’re eagerly awaiting the chance to work on more similar projects in the future. Do you have one of our products and would you like to help us with a similar rooflight case study? Why not get in touch.
Wondering what’s special about Roof Maker’s skylights? Why not download our guide the selecting the best rooflight supplier?
February 24, 2017
Roof Maker helped give a new lease of life to an 18th century miner’s cottage in Bristol, and gave our readers a fantastic skylight case study.
This traditional miner’s cottage in Bristol required extensive renovation work to bring it into the 21st century. The period features of the home are undoubtedly charming, but natural light was lacking from this originally dark but cosy cottage.
Sensitive restoration work meant that the cottage has retained many period features and fixtures. It’s respectful not only of the history of the house, but of the heritage of the wider area
Upon entry into the kitchen extension, this sense of history meets the contemporary, as you’re greeted by swathes of natural light flooding in from above and ahead.
Period brickwork and traditional-style furnishings are illuminated from above by a large fixed flat rooflight. The light from the skylight plays around the room nicely thanks to the filtering effect provided by the wooden beams.
The benefits aren’t purely aesthetic though. The cooking and dining areas are bathed in natural light, which is practical for any household.
Perhaps the most striking element of this extension, though, is the bi-fold doors. These really work to connect the interior to the outdoors. Providing not only vast amounts of natural light, they also operate to extend the living area by allowing ready access to the decked patio.
Taken together, the rooflights and bi-fold doors create a sense of space which can be hard to achieve in such historic properties. As the images show, this was done in a way respectful to the traditional feel of the miner’s cottage; our contemporary rooflights complement its historic character, they don’t overpower it.
Our products are effective at preventing cold spots near doors or under skylights. With triple-glazing as standard and a U Value of 0.6W/m2k, the room is sure to stay warm in winter.
The skylight and bi-fold doors were a key part of the renovation of this property.
Lydia Robinson, of architecture company Design Storey, said that ‘The rooflights have both achieved and exceeded our ambitions by capturing an edited section of sky which provides delight and light’.
We’re looking forward to working on many more projects as exciting as this one, and hopefully turning them into an equally-brilliant skylight case study. Whether it’s a centuries-old cottage like this, or a modern London apartment, it’s great to see our skylights and bi-fold doors proving so integral to renovations.
Wondering what sort of rooflight is right for your property? Roof Maker has produced this handy guide to the top 15 things to consider.
October 26, 2016
This London rooflight case study concerns a fashional apartment in the very heart of the city.
London property market is on average eight times the national average and central London properties are very much reserved for the wealthy. The central suburbs have grown in popularity and this has lead to many house conversions to studio flats and luxury apartments.
Apartment living in the central suburbs of London areas is very much in vogue now with the professionals and with many over the half a million pound mark – making good use of limited space can be a challenge.
However apartments on the top level of a building give ample opportunities to open up the roof space to allow extra light coming into the property amplifying the perceived space considerably. This is exactly what one architect did for a property development in the Battersea area, and why we wanted to make it a landmark London rooflight case study.
The property is an apartment in a converted Victorian terraced property with one bedroom, shower room and open plan kitchen. To the outside there is a large seating area overlooking the views of Battersea.
The project involved putting a fixed flat roof light over the kitchen area so that it allowed the light across the whole of the open plan living space giving a lighter and roomier feel. The minimal look of the roof light enhanced the architectural finish of the apartment providing a great source of natural light, as well as ample night time star gazing opportunities.
Thomas and Spiers Architects are a London, Suffolk and Hertfordshire based Architectural practice, specialising in individual residential designs, with high attention to detail, and strong environmental performance, working on both renovating and extending existing buildings and creating new and exciting homes.
Paul Thomas comments on the conversion using Roof Maker rooflights “Being very aware of environmental and fabric performance, we were impressed by the triple glazed units, measures to reduce risk of overheating, together with the overall Ug-values being achieved.”
As shown in this London rooflight case study, environmental performance is a key measure used in Roof Maker rooflights with industry leading U values* and 30 year life expectancy of products covered by a 20-year unit seal warranty. This why many architects and interior designers look toward our products when specifying for clients.We can currently achieve a Ug-value of 0.6W/m2k for Triple and as low as 0.3W/m2k for Quadruple glazing using phenolic foam in our Flat slide open rooflights!
* A U value is a measure of heat loss. It is expressed in W/m2k, and shows the amount of heat lost in watts (W) per square metre of material when the temperature (k) outside is at least one degree lower. The lower the Ug-value, the better the insulation provided by the material.
May 26, 2016
A watertight project in a unique setting – Pannal Water Tower roof window case study, as featured on Channel 4 Restoration Man.
Restoration of period buildings can be great projects to work on especially when combining the old with the new in design and functionality. The proportion of time taken to buy the building, get planning permission and then the appropriate resources to fulfill the desired end result is a project management task not to be taken lightly – a worthy subject matter for a roof window case study that might help you avoid some potential pitfalls.
A recent Yorkshire water tower project became the subject of Channel 4’s Restoration Man – making a mammoth 46ft tower in the middle of a prosperous residential area your home is tall order for anyone.
This must be one of the last brick, public water supply towers built, as reinforced concrete was being extensively used for water towers at this time. The water tower was built by Harrogate Corporation Waterworks Department to serve the village of Kirkby Overblow. The brick tower used to support a sectional cast iron tank of 37,500 gallons and the tower went out of service and fell into a shabby state. Eventually Yorkshire Water became the owners of the tower, obtained planning permission for conversion to a dwelling in 2010 and put the tower up for sale.
The tower was purchased by an couple who have a bold plan and have combined an ultra modern light emitting design to offset the overpowering features of the tower to give a sympathetic transformation to a domestic dwelling.
The internal layout of the Pannal Water Tower includes a ground-floor living kitchen, mezzanine sitting area with stairs to two bedrooms and a bathroom, while the fourth floor is taken up with a fabulous master suite and a spiral staircase to the converted tank. The couple are also planning to light and fit a removable glass top to a 300ft well on the ground floor.
There is an extension to the middle floor to create a side annexe which is transformed by extra light using energy efficient glass and two Roof Maker 2 x 1 metre fixed flat triple glazed rooflights. This will allow n incredible 4m2 of natural light to flood in from above – making it the perfect roof window case study for prospective customers like you.
Are you facing a similar challenge on an ambitious build? If you’re struggling to choose the best skylights for your project, why not download our handy 15-point guide to choosing a rooflight?
January 26, 2016
Planning for enough natural light is important for the functionality of a home and Roof Maker skylights help the clients of this extension in Sheffield create a bright and enjoyable space.
Abundant natural light in a home not only saves electrical energy but also creates a positive effect on the mood of you and your family, brightening your day and bringing a welcoming feel to your living area
At this stunning extension in Sheffield, award winning Whitshaw Builders chose two Slimline® roof lanterns and a fixed flat rooflight to help create a contemporary and minimal design, giving us the perfect opportunity to bring you this roof light case study.
The extension is in keeping with the character of the existing dwelling and respectful of the surrounding area. The property is semi-traditional however the use of a flat roof and roof lanterns create a really contemporary feel.
As shown in the images, the client wanted to create a more habitable space that all the family could share together. The main feature of this design and build is the use of the glass roof lanterns.
The full height glazing and roof lanterns also help create better interaction with the garden to encourage inside and outside living.
We love incorporating rooflights into the designs of our projects, they are a great way of letting light in and allow us to create a really modern look.
We have used continued to use Roof Maker skylights since the initial project at Kensington Chase in Sheffield. Their products are great, they offer value for money and the service we receive from the team is second to none.
James Shaw | Whitshaw Builders