CUTTING EDGE DESIGN COMPLIMENTS
Dyer Grimes have designed a contemporary and sustainable home in the countryside, the homeowners desired a contemporary home with the latest and greatest design and technology, whilst also enjoying the comforts of a traditional home which they had previously loved in London.
The contemporary and sustainable home is in an Area of Outstanding Beauty. Planning approval on an AONB is rarely granted. The green construction and our efficient, sustainable design convinced planning. To lessen the visual impact on the landscape Dyer Grimes moved the location of the site further back from the road than the bungalow it replaced, and even achieved a reduced footprint and height, despite increasing floor space by expanding below ground. A clean, assymetrical, white frame wraps around floor to ceiling glass on the ground floor, while the lower ground floor – partially concealed by the sloping terrain – is clad in local Tunbridge Wells stone. Inside is equally striking, the ground floor boasts luxurious open-plan spaces that can be adapted into more intimate rooms thanks to concealed pocket doors. The ground floor includes; kitchen and pantry, dining, living and play rooms, along with importantly - the wine cellar. On the floor below are five bedrooms, allowing the family to grow and guests to feel at home. Despite being partially below ground, the design utilises the open side of the slope to provide every bedroom with plentiful natural light.
Dyer Grimes have designed a contemporary and sustainable home in the countryside, for a couple who had completely different views on what entailed their perfect home. The ideas varied between Assad’s vision of countryside living and contemporary architecture and Lisa’s desire for classic buildings and London living. The home also had to be suitable for 2 small children Assad's infectious enthusiasm and demand for the latest and greatest design and technology would fuel one of Dyer Grimes’s most ambitious projects, but could the peace of rural life really replace urban convenience?
To combine the homeowners varied vision, Dyer Grimes required a site full of beauty and a cutting – edge design. Assad found the ideal site, but its greatest asset was also its greatest challenge: it was nestled in the middle of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Planning approval on an AONB is rarely granted for fear of having the landscape tarnished.
Merimac is an unashamedly modern house set within an Area of natural Beauty. The house nestles within the landscape with a low-profile; an original, simple elegant design. Unusually the sleeping areas are downstairs were the material for the construction is brick. Upstairs the house is designed to make the most of its location with large glazed areas and decking, to expand the living areas into the landscape. Although the house is set in the countryside all modern technology has been utilised. The house is energy efficient for the future and benefits from the water on-site with a part water/part ground source heat pump.
To combine the homeowners varied vision, Dyer Grimes required a site full of beauty and a cutting – edge design. The homeowner found the ideal site, but its greatest asset was also its greatest challenge: it was nestled in the middle of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Planning approval on an AONB is rarely granted for fear of having the landscape tarnished. This was evident from the site's troubled past. A poorly designed and poorly located bungalow wasted the potential of the site, yet the numerous applications to replace it had either failed or never progressed past the construction stage.
The High Weald is characterised by firmly traditional rural architecture. The community and the planning officers had never encountered contemporary design in their area, so Dyer Grimes had to tread delicately to avoid Assad's plans being undermined or rejected.
However, the green construction pushed the bar for sustainable, efficient design. Roof top solar panels, ground/water source heat pumps and ecological improvements to the site resulted in the build obtaining Code Level 3 ‘carbon emissions far surpassed Code level 4, saving 70% carbon emissions beyond the requirements of building regulations, Part L, for Sustainable Homes – more than meeting the council's demands.
Sustainability of the project was pushed partly by local policy and by the client, who saw the long-term benefit of a energy efficient home, both in terms of payback and environmental impact.
The energy efficiency of the building was a key focus. To achieve this, the fabric u-values were pushed as low as possible through careful detailed design, with a dedicated air permeability layer designed in, to ensure that the property doesn’t leak warm air. A mechanical ventilation with heat recovery unit (MVHR) was added to efficiently pre-heat fresh air coming into the property.
Low carbon technologies were implanted in the services design, utilising the large pond on site for a part-water, part-ground source heat-pump, which serves as the main heat source. A large Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panel array was fitted on the flat roof to generate clean electrical energy on site. With the fabric enhancements and low carbon technology, the property achieved a 70% reduction in carbon emissions beyond Part L building regulations standards, not far from zero carbon.
In addition to the huge energy savings, other sustainable features include:
- Overheating analysis undertaken, with shading and ventilation recommendations implemented to ensure overheating is not an issue on the southern facade.
- Water consumption down to 105 litres per person per day, well below the 125 litre Part G regulations.
- Low waste development and site waste management, with 98% of site waste re-used or recycled.
- Lifetime Homes compliant, making it inclusive a=for all and future proof.