There is a growing trend for flexible and remote working and an increase in self-employment, freelancing, the ‘gig-economy’ and entrepreneurship. This is resulting in high demand for home offices and garden offices. At the same time, a growing interest in health, wellbeing and sustainability suggests a small garden office version of PassivPod has excellent potential
The garden office PassivPod keeps the same form but is much smaller than the other versions, designed to fit into a garden under permitted development, meaning that in most cases they won’t require planning permission.
The front glazing will provide garden views and ample daylighting, the pod will be made from all natural materials, highly insulated and well ventilated. This will ensure superior internal air quality and energy efficiency.
Solar panels will provide all the energy, and the space will comfortably house a desk, computer, chairs and storage. Biophilic Design features like natural materials, views to nature, daylighting and pure air quality have been scientifically proven to enhance cognition and productivity – making PassivPod perfect for an office.
Many scientific studies have shown that connection with nature helps students learn – enhancing their cognition, creativity, engagement and wellbeing. This research has fed into the growing popularity of Biophilic Design – design based on humans’ innate affinity with nature. At the same time, UK schools are currently under increasing pressure, with demand outstripping supply, creating a need to innovate.
These two trends make educational classrooms an exciting potential application for PassivPod. The rich natural light, un-traditional organic form and natural materials provide an inspiring, comfortable and healthy learning space while the sustainable technologies built into the PassivPod can themselves act as active learning tools.
The exterior of the PassivPod will be the same as the leisure and living versions, while the interior is adapted to house a classroom.
The ground floor, which can be accessed from the main door at the rear of the building or from the front decking, has a hallway and stairwell with cupboards and two WCs, leading to a spacious classroom with moveable desks and chairs, digital smart-board and floor-to-ceiling glazing flooding the room with natural light. The glazing opens out onto a decking area, and ideally would be located beside a school garden or some kind of green space.
The PassivPod in this educational capacity acts as an inspiring learning hub which is perfect for engaging students in learning any subject, especially environmental studies.
The original inspiration for PassivPod was a competition to design a zero-carbon lakeside holiday home. Eco-luxury travel accommodation remains one of its key incarnations today.As an eco-lodge or holiday home, PassivPod is a beautiful, sustainable and relaxing retreat.
It provides a healthy and comfortable living environment in all seasons and also offers extremely low running costs due to its exceptional energy efficiency and built-in renewable technologies. It is perfect for remote natural locations, as it is a ecologically-sensitive development which generates all its own energy and blends into the landscape.
The informal organic layout of the dwelling will compliment an outdoor lifestyle and embrace nature and wildlife. The PassivPod will nestle into the landscape, ideally surrounded by trees and fronted by water – depending on the location.
The interiors will be bright, spacious and welcoming, with all habitable rooms enjoying views of the surrounding environment. Four double bedrooms, two bathrooms and ample storage are included upstairs above the living/dining and kitchen areas on the ground floor. Where desired and access routes permit, each PassivPod will also have the option to include a garage-pod for two cars, bicycles and storage etc with a further 1.2kWp roof solar PV array to charge an electric car.
PassivPod enables an outdoor lifestyle to flourish by providing a timber deck that extends out from the living rooms with facilities such as a hot tub, barbecue and sunken seating. For lakeside locations, an optional extra feature is the extension of the decking out over the lake to a seating area and gazebo at the end of a jetty from which a small boat can be accessed. In short, the PassivPod will be a rejuvenating haven you will not want to leave!
The facilities, size and quality of the PassivPod holiday home are so comfortable that it could easily be used as a permanent home. As an eco-house, the PassivPod offers all the modern conveniences of a traditional house while promoting an outdoor lifestyle, being gentle on the environment and generating all its own energy – and much of its water. This would mean utility bills very close to zero.
For a home, the interior layout would stay more or less the same as the leisure version. Our early market research suggests one of the things people like about the PassivPod as a holiday option is that it’s ‘something different’ and contrasts with the kind of traditional house which is more popular to live in full time. However, there is also a growing niche market for rural low-impact eco-houses.
Many people aspire to live a sustainable low-impact lifestyle close to the land, generating their own renewable energy and perhaps even their own food. PassivPod is the perfect way to facilitate such a lifestyle.
PassivPod could potentially be adapted for other uses as well, such as a community centre, visitors’ centre, workshop, studio or health and wellness clinic. The possibilities are almost endless.
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