Our vision is to live close to the land, keeping our environmental footprint as light as possible. We would like to increase the biodiversity of the site and demonstrate that the right development can benefit the land, rather than harm it.
The existing site
Ivy House Cottage is a derelict agricultural worker’s dwelling, with a strong connection to the surrounding land. There has been a building/dwelling on this site since before 1882. The house is no longer structurally sound and is beyond repair.
We will demolish this house and build a new one in its place. We would like to reuse materials from the old house where possible.
Dimensions of the existing house: 9.75m (wide) x 7.225m (deep) x 7.6m (high)
Pictures of the house:
The proposed house
We would like to use natural, locally sourced materials to create a dwelling that enables us to live on the land.
Requirements (things we need)
- Four bedrooms (One for each child (small), one for us (not so small) )
- Shower AND bath (Cleanliness and relaxation)
- A large living area (Kitchen, Dining area and lounge, to enable us to have a lot of friends over)
- A snug (A small separate living area to escape from family life)
- Composting toilet (Doesn’t waste water)
- Some kind of entrance area/porch (could double up as utility room)
Constraints (things we can’t change)
- Position – the house sits in the North West corner of the site. Planning requires that any replacement dwelling sits in roughly the same position
- Size – a replacement building cannot be materially larger than the existing one (we are interpreting this as not more than 50% larger, based on case history).
- Topography – the land slopes to the East
- Aspect – the current house faces South East. We would like to maximize the aspect for passive solar heating (could we turn it to the south?).
Desires (things we’d really like, but are open to ideas)
- Roundwood timber frame (Renewable, Lower embodied energy, Aesthetically interesting)
- Strawbale infill (Low embodied energy, natural byproduct, Flexible design possibilities, Easy, Cheap)
- Roof – shingle – to blend better with the environment, and collect rainwater
- Passive solar design. We would like to reduce our environmental impact by combining the heat of the sun and the thermal mass of the house to reduce heating needs
- Light – we would like to keep as connected to the land as possible by welcoming in as much light as possible.
- Views. Being isolated gives us good views on all sides, which we would like to enjoy
- Curves – to make things more funky and less boring.
Here are some things we like the look of:
Pictures of the views: