3 miles from Cirencester
13 miles from Cheltenham
but far from ordinary
There is a desire to challenge both the form and function of traditional residential buildings and build suspense about what the inside of the buildings will reveal. The result is a pallet of quality materials, contrasted against more industrial zinc in a building of distinctly horizontal blank form. The linear design functions to separate the driveway from the private rear gardens with minimal overlooking.
There is an independent driveway with parking for at least 2 cars in addition to the garage.
The canopies function to shelter the entrance, enclose an area for storage, provide privacy between the houses, cover the double electric garage and also draw visitors toward the entrance door.
The oak front door, by Urban Front, opens to reveal a double height hallway with 6 metre triple glazed skylight above which provides abundant indirect light while maintaining privacy, then through to the living room with views out to fields at the rear.
The living room has two pairs of sliding triple glazed doors (by Internorm) opening onto the terrace.
The open plan dining area is at the end of the room, delineated by an angled return with another pair of sliding doors to the garden.
The kitchen, designed by Voga Interiors, uses German Hacker Polar white units. It features Siemens integrated fridge, freezer, dishwasher, induction hob and double ovens with microwave. The fused, joint free solid surface, incorporating white bowl and breakfast bar, was made by Capsule and is fitted with Quooker boiling water tap. The angle echoes in the shape of the cloakroom and the worktop.
Adjoining the dining area is the utility room with a wall of storage, again with fused worktop and space for laundry appliances to allow an uncluttered and quiet living area. Activated fibre optic broadband is installed at 300 Mbps and wired internet connectivity is fed into the main rooms. This leads to the double garage, with plastered and painted finish and electric, insulated up and over door. A simple engineered oak floor, with wide and long boards, runs throughout the ground floor, designed to complement the under floor heating.
Back through the living room to the sitting room with the fourth sliding door to the rear and a dual aspect large picture window with view to the front. A second door leads back to the hallway. The bespoke oak internal doors are wide and tall to enhance the feeling of space the high ceilings provide. In the hallway are two under stairs storage cupboards and an oak staircase with glass balustrade, with clerestory light to the living room.
Another door opens into the cloakroom, fittings by Duravit, including wall hung rimless WC and mirror cabinet. The shower offers potential for the 2nd reception room to be used as a guest bedroom.
Four bedrooms and the family bathroom open off the landing.
Bedroom 2 gives the first example of distant views across open farm land through full height glazing. All bedrooms have internet and coax connection points.
Bedroom 3, with potential for storage behind the door. It's the same size as bedroom 3 with an en suite.
Bedroom 4 with view over the sedum grass roof that provides habitat for bees and insects.
The family bathroom with separate bath and walk in shower, dual fuel towel rail by Vogue. All sanitary ware is by Duravit, shower screens and trays are by Matki. Tiles by Mandarin Stone with large format tiles.
The landing cupboard houses the mvhr. Because the house is 12 times more airtight than current Building Regulations it is the most efficient way to control the air flow into and out of the house. It is fine to open doors and windows as much as you like throughout the year.
The planting scheme and layout was designed by Michele Bient of Capability Design. The terrace is Porcelain tiles from Mandarin stone, lower maintenance and more slip resistant than stone.
Cotswold stone from Farmington has is used to face the building fronts and lower elements of the building. The cladding and rain screen fencing are Eucalyptus, perhaps the greenest of commercial sustainable timber, with the colour of cedar but much more durable and with fewer knots. The buildings are oiled to preserve the clean look and the fencing has been left to silver.
The internal ceilings gently slope to reflect the monopitch roof offer the simplest solution to shedding water while catching the most sunlight and allowing the house to sit low in the landscape. The main roof is made from standing seam zinc with a 50 year guarantee.
For some people it is enough to know that the house tests as energy positive, that is that over a year it creates more power than it uses for heating, hot water and lighting.
CBuild focus on building A rated houses, having received the Green Building Award by Cheltenham Borough Council in 2017 for getting to 98/100. To further improve the result to 104 we focussed on reducing heat demand, increasing heat retention through air tightness and increasing the amount of onsite power generation.
Pv (Photo Voltaic) panels are a simple way to reduce power consumption from the grid. Government funding has been phased out now the panels have become widely adopted. There is 5.5kw of pv on the roof, the most we could fit on a standard domestic power supply.
As there is no financial incentive to export excess power to the grid, the next step is to store your energy in a Tesla Powerwall battery and use it in the evenings when there is no sun to generate electricity. Smart meters are another part of strategy to reduce peak grid demand, as electricity will begin to vary in cost depending on the time of day. Battery storage can be topped up all year round using the cheapest overnight tariff, from sources like wind turbines that operate 24 hours a day, and potentially export to the grid at peak times for profit.
(We are awaiting permission from the grid to install the battery so it is subject to their approval at the moment).
The timber frames were supplied by mbc, who have their factory in Gloucester. They specialise in supplying a premium package of zero thermal bridge foundation, passive house levels of insulation, and expertly fitting the air tightness membrane. They also engineer the design to minimise steel supports bridging the thermal envelope of the building.
Mvhr (Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery) made by Airflow, retains around 90% of the heat extracted from stale air in the kitchen and bathrooms and uses the heat to warm fresh air. It has a built in humidity sensor and will automatically boost itself if required.
The ashp external units are the first Vaillant units in the UK with improved efficiency and the highest Coefficient of Performance available, meaning they provide up to 4 times as much heat as the energy they use to run. There are 2 main points to understand. They move heat from one source to another; they do not burn fuel to generate heat. Ashp cool down the outside air and transfer that heat into the house. They could be compared to a fridge that cools down food and gets warm at the back with the heat that has come out of the food. They are designed to look after themselves as they measure the external air temperature and decide how hard they need to work to keep the house at your chosen temperature and provide hot water. It is most efficient to run the heating and hot water when generating electricity, so a 300 litre pressurised water cylinder is installed.
The sewage treatment plant is in the rear garden. A generation beyond a septic tank, it aerates to speed the breaking down process and means that the discharge is much more pure when discharged. It still requires an annual empty and service.
There is obviously an upfront cost to all of the efficiency, but the savings in running costs are significant, the houses are more comfortable to live in and have an intangible feel good factor. We believe it is the right thing to do, our own house next door is built using the same technologies, buyers can take comfort we are on hand to offer guidance and support.