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Paragraph 139 House Design – Tailored Architecture

What is a Paragraph 139 House?

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How a Paragraph 139 House is defined.

Paragraph 139 (previously Paragraph 134) housing is the development of a house in a non-isolated location outside of an established settlement boundary. The planning policy supports highly sustainable housing in a rural setting which is designed to fully respond to the context of location, landscape, and materiality.

The goal is to raise the bar on housing design and sustainability while fitting into the rural context.

How we use low-energy and Passive House principles to design Paragraph 139 houses.

Sustainability is the bedrock of Tailored Architecture’s design, construction, and development process.


We adopted these six design principles, derived from Passive House, in every project we undertake to deliver energy-efficient and light tough environmental homes.

Building form

Building form is always derived directly from the site context, with considerations taken to minimise the overall surface area of the thermal envelope. A dense and efficient form and massing reduces the heat loss minimising the required heat demand and emissions.

Solar access

Solar gains are considered to maximise the winter warmth available reducing overall heat demand. Careful design of window openings and potential solar shading in the form of sliding screens and horizontal canopies will be deployed to reduce risks of overheating in summer. Natural ventilation will be use for summer time cooling avoiding the use of mechanical comfort cooling.

Fabric first

All buildings are designed with enhanced building fabric to lower the required heating demand, also coupled with airtightness to further reduce heat losses. This allows for a smaller heating plant to be installed reducing overall emissions.

Embodied carbon

Materials and construction methods where possible will be chosen to limit their embodied carbon emissions.

Low carbon heating systems and renewable technologies

Enhanced building fabric and careful inclusion of controlled solar access allows for the installation and operation of an low-carbon heating systems for example heat-pumps. This will reduce the overall heating impact of the proposed dwelling. Battery storage is to be considered to provide electrical storage reducing the impact of peak energy use.

Deconstruction and re-use

Consideration of the materials and construction methods used to allow for deconstruction and reuse in their current form. Reducing the disposal element of construction and energy intensive recycling processes.