As his wife Lacy was walking to work at 5am last Thursday she spotted three thieves stealing lead from his garden office. Mr Chapman said: “When confronted they said ‘we are doing the demolition’. She ran back to get me but by the time I got there they had got away, not before they had stripped half of it off though. The police arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.”The office, from where he runs Clive Chapman Architects, won a Richmond upon Thames Sustainable Design Award in 2000 and is designed to be a passive low energy building. Here's how he describes it:
North/south orientation to gain maximum winter sun. Maximum glazing to south and west elevations, minimum glazing to north and east elevations. Building sunk into ground to minimize heat loss/close space gain. Beech hedge screens north elevation. Roof overhang on south elevation provides summer shading. High ceilings and manually openable roof vents provide passive cooling. Windows on opposite elevations allow cross ventilation. Overhead fans aid the extraction of warm air in summer and when reversed circulate warm air in winter. U values are 0.15W/sqm for walls, 0.13W/sqm for roofs and 0.13W/sqm for floors. Low emissive glazing. Natural materials have been used throughout, including a lead roof, copper gutters, Western red cedar cladding, American oak windows, and interior joinery, wool carpets and linoleum work surfaces.It's been a bad few months for Mr Chapman (to put it mildly) as his home burned down in a suspicious fire in September.