Polwithen is a four bedroom house, built on the site of a demolished bungalow overlooking St Michaels Mount. It is a timber framed, Larch clad house, designed and built to Passivhaus standards (German low energy certification scheme), orientated to benefit from views of the Mount to the West and The Lizard to the East. The house is highly insulated and well sealed against air leakage.

As we have access to fire wood, we use a wood burner for space heating, but because little heat is required to heat the space, 70% of the heat generated goes to water heating.

A whole house ventilation system, with heat recovery, ensures that heat is evenly distributed around the house and that there is a constant supply of pre-warmed fresh air. The cost of fuel bills is offset by revenue and electricity generated by a 4kw photovoltaic array on the south facing roof pitch.

External (yard) and glazed (lobby and conservatory) spaces are enclosed by rammed earth walls made from compacted local subsoil.

A dismantled piano provided materials for various fittings including stair balusters (tensioned strings), handrail (lid), handles and latches (keys) and coat hooks (hammers).