Casa Batroun, Lebanon

CASA BATROUN IS A RENOVATION AND EXTENSION OF AN OLD SANDSTONE 100M2 PRIVATE FAMILY HOUSE, IN THE SEASIDE TOWN OF BATROUN, IN THE NORTH OF LEBANON.

The objective was to double the existing surface area in an exemplary eco-friendly way, demonstrating that this is possible in a country where the tendency has often been to destroy old heritage and replace beautiful living spaces with characterless concrete high rise buildings. On their own initiative, the owners requested an eco-friendly house from project at the outset, and Casa Batroun achieved BREEAM Excellent certification (PCR certificate obtained in February 2014) in order to serve as an exemplary renovation in a country where sustainable construction is far from being standard.

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KEY FACTS

  • BREEAM rating: Excellent
  • Score: 70.9%
  • Size: 200m2
  • Stage: PCR
  • BREEAM version: BREEAM International Bespoke 2010

MAHA NASRALLAH, ARCHITECT, SAID:

“With a rigorous eco-friendly brief and implementation, Casa Batroun will promote the health of its occupants while minimising the building’s construction & operational impact on the environment. Focus has been on carefully selecting natural, recycled, handmade, and warm materials, which makes the residence quite attractive. The house consumes 55% less energy compared to a typical inefficient house built to the current local way of building, which is a direct benefit for the building occupants (reduced energy bills). Water savings will also be achieved. The house will be regarded as an exemplary project for sustainable construction, as it is the first BREEAM certified project in Lebanon and has obtained one of the highest ratings, the Excellent rating. BREEAM and LEED are the 2 most common certification schemes in Lebanon. We believe that BREEAM is a more comprehensive scheme for residential buildings especially that it has a full section on Land Use & Ecology. Also at the time of assessment, small houses outside the US could not be certified under LEED internationally. “

OVERVIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL FEATURES

The project includes:

  • Reuse of the existing building façade
  • Natural, low toxicity, breathable materials
  • Bio-climatic design enhancing cross-ventilation and eliminating the need for cooling systems
  • Energy efficiency through carefully studied window positioning, shading devices, and natural eco-friendly thermal insulation
  • LED lighting and zoning of lighting
  • Solar water heating panels for domestic water
  • Wood pellet stoves for space heating
  • Rainwater harvesting for irrigation and toilet flushing
  • Low water fixtures and low energy appliances
  • Vegetated green roof and garden with native plants
  • Photovoltaics for electricity generation currently under way

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THE BREEAM ASSESSMENT

  • Health & Wellbeing – 100% score (adequate daylighting / views, designed for Lifetime Homes, adequate private space provided)
  • Transport – 90% score (proximity to amenities & public transport, bicycle racks installed, and space for home office provided)
  • Energy –  81% score (energy efficient lighting throughout the project, solar hot water system installed, space heating with wood pellet stoves, very low energy consumption compared to ASHRAE 90.2-2007 standard, energy efficient white goods provided, properly insulated building fabric)

BUILDING SERVICES

  • Cooling demand was eliminated by a bioclimatic design enhancing cross-ventilation, combined with a well-insulated and carefully shaded building envelope
  • Space heating demand is met by 2 biomass wood pellet stoves (renewable energy source)
  • Natural ventilation thanks to operable windows in each space, along with top-up ceiling fans when needed
  • Domestic hot water demand met by a solar hot water system on the roof

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