This energy efficient new-build home replaces a 1930’s detached bungalow on a steeply sloping site within the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The neighbouring buildings are generally single storey which influenced the height and scale of the new building. Consequently the new house appears as single storey when approached from the access drive. The levels have been exploited to provide the main living accommodation at the upper level with bedrooms below.
The open plan family kitchen space has amazing far-reaching views across the Warwickshire countryside, with single aspect bedrooms below, benefitting from the thermal mass of the natural ground. Windows have been strategically positioned to avoid overheating in summer and to create interesting vistas of the varied and integrated landscaping around the property and beyond.
The building was constructed using Insulated Concrete Formers (ICF) providing a highly insulated structural system, ideal for the below ground situation. Stone from the original bungalow was recycled and laid as drystone walling rain screen to the lower level to create a ‘solid’ base, above which lightweight cladding consisting of through colour render, natural cedar boarding and zinc standing seam create an interesting and sculptural facade.
The property has solar PV panels hidden from view on a flat roof which provide energy for an efficient air sourced heat pump which in turn supplies underfloor heating throughout. Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) provides fresh air and assists with heating. This renewable technology combined with high levels of insulation, triple glazed windows and air tight construction has resulted in an EPC ‘A’ rating for the house. Rainwater is harvested and re-used for WC’s, washing machine and garden irrigation.
A simple palette of materials has been used internally. Floors are generally solid oak, limestone tiles or natural floor coverings, all chosen to work efficiently with the underfloor heating. Walls and ceilings are generally plastered but are broken up with indents and bulkheads which help to define spaces within the open plan accommodation. Sliding pocket doors allow spaces to be sub-divided.
Large 7m wide sliding doors at the upper level give access onto a balcony, allowing the main living space to relate to the outside directly. A detailed landscape scheme with dry stone walls and low maintenance planting further enhances the setting and the positioning and style of windows provide a visual link to the various outside rooms. Corner windows allow panoramic views, carefully considered with regard to orientation.
The property was featured on the Channel 4 show ‘Building the Dream’ as well as an article for ‘The Metro’ newspaper.
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