The Curly House design emerged from combining three key design principles: its crescent form on plan, its stepped arrangement on the site and a curved sunshade structure to prevent the windows from over-heating. After considering numerous sustainable construction options, the builder recommended ICFs for the walls and an insulating concrete system for the floors and roof. These methods contributed thermal mass advantages that balance the heat gains and losses from the large areas of glazing.
No timber was used in the construction of the building envelope. The semi-subterranean nature of the design meant that materials susceptible to damp could not be considered. The insulating element of the ICF system, along with the roof and floor system, acts as a buffer, allowing the slow release of heat into the building to ensure a constant internal temperature throughout the year. Once the ICF wall blocks and floor panels were positioned, a sustainable concrete mix was poured into the formwork, completing the floor and walls as a continuous element.