Homes for sale with solar panels have become highly desirable during the energy crisis and can help reduce bills.
The panels are normally found on the roof of the building to capture as much sunlight as possible.
But two unusual homes in London‘s affluent Fulham have the panels on one side of the property – and one of them is now available to buy in this ‘hot’ market.
At the end of a passageway off a road in London that is full of Victorian houses are these two terraced homes with an entire wall covered in solar panels
To avoid overlooking the neighbours, only oblique views from inside were permitted, meaning the architects designed each solar screen to be at a 45 degree angle
Tucked down the end of a passageway off the Victorian terraced Fulham Road are two homes called The Fulham Houses.
Attached to the buildings’ fully glazed façades are blue-coloured solar panels.
Each property spreads across three levels – including a basement – and have four bedrooms.
One is currently for sale via estate agents Re/max Property Hub with a price tag of £1.75million.
The estate agent explains that the properties were designed by HCL Architects to ‘fit snugly into a tight, awkward site previously occupied by six disused garages’.
Each mews house has a steel structural frame and yellow stock brick party walls to the rear.
The architect had to design the properties while making sure that the existing Fulham Road properties was not overlooked.
Each property spreads across three levels – including a basement – and have four bedrooms
The solution was to fit solar shutters to the building’s façade from the ground to the first floor level.
Only oblique views from inside were permitted, meaning the architects designed each solar screen to be at a 45 degree angle.
The architect insists that the detail allows for daylight and sunlight to filter into the interior of the property.
Billie Lee of HCL Architects said: ‘The solar screens are an integral part of the architecture, providing energy, privacy and to filter light.
‘The energy generated is transferred to the national power network while the shading allows daylight without overheating the interior.
‘Privacy is given in a compact location, and the houses still retain an open and filtered light quality.’
The architect insists that the panels allow for daylight and sunlight to filter into the interior of the property
Each of the properties has five by the two metre by 1.2 metre panels, which can generate half of the average energy demand a day, which is enough to meet daily electricity requirements.
The buildings also have a sedum roof – which is a roof of living plants – roof-lights over the bathroom and staircase to maximise daylight and enable ventilation.
The agent added in its advertising literature: ‘Integrating renewable technologies into residential buildings in this bold way is rare in Fulham.
‘This aspect, together with the houses’ modest scale and high-quality design, has enhanced the existing character and appearance of the Central Fulham Conservation Area in which it is situated.’
And Mr Lee add: ‘We enjoy that the building’s technology and ecology are an intrinsic part of the architecture, not hidden or disguised, but celebrated and enjoyed.’
One of the properties on London’s Fulham Road is currently on the market for £1.75m
However, Michael Zucker, of estate agents Jeremy Leaf & Co, was less than complimentary about this house.
He says: ‘Is making a big thing about eco credentials, fitting solar panels on a building and calling it sustainable an excuse for poor design with basement bedrooms looking out onto a tiny well area, a toilet directly off the kitchen area and completely inadequate living or amenity space for a four-bedroom house?
‘Also, does it never occur to someone asking over £1.75million for a property to consider removing some of the clutter or trying to make the interior look attractive?’
The properties were designed by hcl Architects to ‘fit snugly into a tight, awkward site previously occupied by six disused garages’, according to the estate agent
The average price of a property on the Fulham Road is £1,078,507, which is a drop of £36,982, on a year ago, according to property website Zoopla.
The fall comes during the pandemic when many homebuyers are seeking more space in rural and coastal locations.
It compares to the typical value of a home in Britain today of £329,210, which is less than a third of the Fulham Road average.
Daniel Copley, of Zoopla, said: ‘The exterior of this property is certainly a talking point with its many solar panels and futuristic feel.
‘Aside from its unique facade, the property has an ultra-modern and sleek interior, with generous living spaces and private outdoor space.
‘It also enjoys a brilliant location, which is just a short stroll from leafy Bishop’s Park and the bustling Fulham Road with its many boutiques and restaurants.’