This project in the Cotswolds AONB involved demolishing an existing dilapidated bungalow and replacing it with two new houses.  One of these was sold as a plot with planning permission, which partly funded the construction of the other, larger house for our clients.  The clients were living abroad at the time, so we took charge the whole process for them from start to finish.

Extensive pre-application consultation with the council informed the design and led to a successful planning outcome.  The design of the houses was fairly traditional to the street frontage, employing local materials and detailing.  The sides and rear on the other hand, being not visible to the public realm, were able to be much more contemporary in character.

The larger house has a basement, which thanks to a lightwell and carefully designed glazing, as well as a top-lit central stairwell that is mostly glass, feels bright and not at all like being in a basement.

The house employs fabric-first passivhaus principles, being super-insulated, airtight and with MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery).  Extensive south facing well sealed and insulated glazing (incorporating shading to prevent overheating) and less glazing to the north also help to maximise solar gain and to minimise heat loss.  There is a photovoltaic array on the roof, and this powers a ground source heat pump, which provides all of the hot water and the small amount of heat that the house needs.

Modern methods of construction were employed, with the basement being constructed of insulated concrete formwork (ICF) and the superstructure of structurally insulated panels (SIPS).  Both solutions sped up the construction programme, as well as maximising the insulation values without the walls becoming overly thick.

Photos by Neil Speakman / Maple Photo