Designer: Rae Wilkinson and Outdoor Options
Outdoor Options installed a project next door to this property in 2010 prior to our client managing to gain planning permission to convert a Dutch Barn to a private dwelling on an ANOB site (a UK first). With this being a rare permission the project was rated code four under the Sustainable Homes Act. For Outdoor Options this meant being involved in architect meetings from first concept and understanding the key components and where we could assist the coding regulations required by planning conditions.
Recommending that we evolve the project with Rae Wilkinson, once Rae was appointed we worked closely together for almost a year before breaking ground. Unusually, Outdoor Options was involved on site from the start too, carrying out all site clearance and enablement works, storing of all topsoil and concrete crushing the old footings and farmyard to be used as access and subbase recycled material. We also installed 300 metres of ground source heat pump trenches.
Permeable surfaces were used wherever practical, all bulk material was retained on site and used to create wildflower landforms; roof water was collected and ran through 200 metres of planted swale before entering the lake which was designed to have stormwater attenuation capacity.
The house is sited on clay and was sunk one metre down to reduce the roof ridge. This meant retaining walls to the rear but also managing all the water that flowed around and through the property from higher neighbouring ground. It therefore made sense for Outdoor Options to install all the services, electrical, gas, BT, ground source heat, rainwater recycling along with garden lighting and the pool requirements – an extensive network of services for a private dwelling.
Once above ground, with the pool installed and the land reshaped, the remaining hard landscape works were more about sympathetic connection and blending to the surrounding environment.
The house has many unique features, the main one being all the typical ground floor rooms are upstairs and connected to a large but sheltered roof terrace affording great views over the garden and some of the best views in the South East.
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