Thursday, 9 October 2014

Eco-home on Grand Designs: maximum sustainability by meeting Code Six building regs

The latest Grand Designs took us to East Anglia:

Natasha Cargill wants to build a home shaped like two enormous periscopes in rural Norfolk. But a limited budget and tight planning restrictions start to take their toll. To get planning permission for her build, Natasha Cargill has to ensure not only that the materials used are sustainable, but also agree to measure the amount of diesel used to deliver them. The planning controls are so rigid in fact that even details like the type of portaloos the builders use and the size of her bath have to be monitored. Natasha has just £330k to spend on construction and just six months to complete.

Grand Designs - Channel 4
Grand Designs on demand - Channel 4

Grand Designs' eco home puts 

planners to the test

Single mum Natasha Cargill opted for countryside living with her eco home

Look at that balcony!

Grand Designs went eco for this week’s episode as Kevin McCloud followed single mum Natasha Cargill in her quest for a rural family retreat.
The housekeeper, who swapped London for Norfolk, wanted her son to have the best upbringing in the countryside. So what better way to achieve it than by creating your own house?
Indeed, after years of renting and searching for the perfect property to no avail, Natasha took it upon herself to build her dream home. The only problem that could potentially stand in her way was the planning department and its tight regulations.
Having purchased a half-acre plot off a local farmer, she spent £80,000 knowing that it was protected land with the strictest of planning conditions in the UK.
It was a rather communal affair actually, as the trainee architect she had chosen for the project, Wilf Meynell, was in fact the farmer’s son. Bless, it meant that he wanted to do the land and his dad proud!
With tough restrictions in place, everything about the property needed to be sustainable with all materials sourced locally and every last detail monitored. If this could be achieved and it could meet the Code Six practice of 90 points or higher, then the planners would be satisfied.

Budgets and timescales were tight, but the design was gorgeous, with the home shaped like two periscopes. It really did make the most of the beautiful views with its cantilevered balconies.
And it was the ultimate in green living, with solar panels and wild flowers scattering the flat roof, Cedar clad exterior and Sycamore furniture taking pride of place indoors. Heck, the wood was even sourced from the farmer’s land and with the help of keen architectural students on work experience, the team were able to keep costs low.
That’s not to say Natasha stayed within budget as there was an overspend, as there always is on Grand Designs. But it was definitely worth it, as the mum ultimately had the finest of family homes.
Yes, there were planning hiccups along the way, as site manager James learned when facilities were flagged up as needing to be complaint with the point scoring system.
But the finished build was stunning. It might have been light, airy and modern in its design, yet the interior still boasted a cosy and homely feel. Natasha’s son has certainly got a great place to grow up that’s for sure...
Grand Designs is on Channel 4, Wednesdays at 9pm


Grand Designs' eco home puts planners to the test - Kate Rees - Wales Online

From the architect himself:

New practices: Studio Bark | News | Architects Journal

Meanwhile, Kevin McCloud's 'HAB Housing, which aims to be one of the UK’s most progressive and ambitious alternative housing developers, will move into Temple Studios, close to Temple Meads station' in Bristol:
Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud's HAB Housing to open Bristol office this month | Bristol Post

See also:
Futures Forum: Renting vs Buying in the South-West: part two
Futures Forum: Self-build: part two
Futures Forum: Upcycling: 'Kevin's Supersized Salvage'

1 comment:

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