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October 15

i-build i-nterior i-scape


Issue 15


Affordable modular structures offer style and versatility


North London home benefits from striking pleated ceiling design


Couple utilise ample garden space for stunning new property



Delivering British architecture with German technology Hanse Haus is a leading German turnkey supplier of bespoke, pre-fabricated, timber framed homes, currently building ultra-high efficiency and Passivhaus standard homes across the UK. Contact us today to learn about the latest build site or open day. Hanse Haus Email Telephone 0845 658 9780 (Local rate)


Welcome to the October issue of i-build

i-build i-nterior i-scape

W Cover story: An architect has used his design prowess to transform his own home. See page 28. Editor:

Emily Smith Print & Digital Advertising:

Sam Ball

Steve Gull

Michael Abrahams Studio Manager:

Chris Lilly Senior Editor:

Hannah Frackiewicz Production:

Jack Witcomb Artworker/Sub-editor:

David Perry Accounts:

Simone Jones Managing Director:

hether due to time delays or financial limitations, self-build projects are renowned for not running quite to plan. Philip and Caroline Harrison’s home-building project in this month’s Rural Retreat came up against several unexpected complications, including struggles gaining planning permission and difficulties in getting material to the site. Although they experienced complications, first time self-builders Philip and Caroline loved their home-building adventure and are now looking for another plot to do the whole thing again. This month’s Urban Sanctuary is the project of someone who’s no stranger to the complications of home building. Having helped many others to achieve their domestic architectural desires, architect Adam Knibb has now utilised his skills in transforming his own home. The extension’s modern cubic design is a striking contrast to the original Victorian property. Not only has it added more space to Adam’s home, but it has also provided him with the opportunity to demonstrate his architectural prowess. Read about his innovative project on page 28. As always, this issue is filled with home building advice from the experts on everything self-build. Highlights include how to choose the right lighting scheme on page 38, the secrets to a hassle-free bathroom project on page 36 and why straw bale is a safe and versatile construction method on page 42. For further advice visit, where you can read past issues and browse the latest self-build products. To access this resource on the move you can download the i-build App for free from the App Store and Google Play – simply search ‘i-build’. If you are coming to the end of your project and would like to offer your home as inspiration to other self-builders, contact me at the usual address and tell me all about your self-build journey.

Emily Smith Editor @ibuildmagazine

Sam Ball



Download the i-build app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Search 'i-build'.

Editor’s picks Pear Platt, Woodfalls Farm, Gravelly Way Laddingford, Kent, ME18 6DA T: 01622 873229 F: 01622 320020 Terms and Conditions:

Contributions are invited and when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and return addressed envelope. No responsibility will be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or in the editors hands. In the absence of an agreement the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographics or artistic belongs to Mixed Media Information Ltd. The Publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing in the magazine and the opinions expressed in editorial material or otherwise do not necessarily represent the view of the publisher. The Publisher does not accept any liability of any loss arising from the late appearance or non publication of any advertisement.

Cladding by Trespa: See page 58

Pre-manufactured housing by Baufritz: See page 56

Rainwater systems by Yeoman Rainguard: See page 57


Highlighting the latest innovative and on-trend styles and products.

Living 14 Green Unveiling the benefits of Passivhaus – the


international low-energy design standard.

i-build i-nterior i-scape

Desired Designs






Contracts & Legalities


Rural Retreat


Urban Sanctuary






Everything you need to know about custom build, from expert Raymond Connor.

New regulations have placed greater responsibility on homeowners to enforce project health and safety.

Philip and Caroline Harrison have built a four bedroom ICF home at the end of their garden.

Architect Adam Knibb has used his professional skills to transform his Victorian semi-detached home.

Laura Weeks presents the secrets to a hassle-free bathroom project.

Lighting expert Iain Shaw provides guidance on how to create the perfect lighting scheme.

40 Renewables A team from Cardiff University have built a zero carbon house to monitor renewable efficiency.

42 i-build Straw bale is a natural, versatile


and affordable construction method.

46 i-nterior A North London extension project benefits 28 20

from a dramatic pleated roof design.

50 i-scape Garden rooms built off site are growing in popularity, with many companies providing high-end solutions.

ts: Secreour e d a Tr out for ed

Look crets’ dott e. Se issu ‘Trade hout this ider s g u in thro are the e an be s c e h h ic T ts wh budding h ig s o in able t ! invalu lf-builders e s



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Desired Designs


Autumnal bliss


Fill your home with warm reds, oranges and browns, alongside woodland-inspired patterns. 3 4

5 6








utumn is recognised as a period of colourful transformation. As the green leaves of summer turn red and yellow, winter berries appear in the bushes and the outside ground becomes a carpet of orange and brown. The colder, shorter days encourage us to retreat into our homes. Warm tones and soft textures help to create a cosy environment. In the unpredictable UK climate, a warming interior scheme is beneficial all year round, and won’t date when seasons change. Neutral tones should be completed with warm, golden browns, sage greens and dusky oranges. If these hues appeal, it might be worth visiting local woodland to seek inspiration from nature’s autumnal highlights. The Forestry Commission has released its top ten UK places to visit for autumn colour. From the ‘electric light bulb’ yellow of autumn leaves at Westonbirt to the amazing view from the Tree Top Way at Salcey Forest, the list is full of leaf-peeping walks. Visit for more information.

1. Woodland Leaves Picnic Blanket, £36, Clare Loves

2. Squirrel and Nut Cushion, £44.95, Annabel James

3. Woodland Tea Towels, £12, Cath Kidson

4. Magpie Birdy II Cake Tins, £30, Cotswold Trading

5. Anula Cushion in Wisteria, £22, Sheridan Australia

6. Autumn Red Matt Emulsion Paint, Collours at B&Q

7. Autumn Woodland Print, Drawpaint Illustration

8. Original White Crackle

Board, £52 per m, Bert & May

9. Supreme Paprika Towels, from £3.50, Christy

10. The Hunter Small Sofa in Moon Earth Raspberry, £1899, Sofa Workshop

11. Paint Collection,

£19.99 per litre, Bert & May

Baufritz is passionate about creating a luxurious living environment that’s designed just for you. All our homes use an abundance of high quality, natural materials that are completely free of toxins, creating a harmonious atmosphere that looks beautiful, protects the environment and makes you feel good.

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CMYK / .ai

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CMYK / .ai Find out more about Baufritz and contac t our UK office: | 01223 235632

Desired Designs

Bathroom storage Make the most of space in your bathroom with clever storage solutions. 1

Clever solution

In-built design

Perfect for small bathrooms with limited room for storage, RAGRYND by Ikea is a corner shelf that can be used under the washbasin by putting two together. At only ÂŁ20 each, the bamboo design measures W34 x D34 x H60cm.

If you are starting your bathroom design from scratch, then opting for in-built storage is an aesthetically pleasing option. This design by Stonearth presents a sleek, stylish and contemporary finish.





Furniture feature

Freestanding structures

Make a statement with your storage by upcyling a cupboard or dresser. Including windows will allow you to show off your beautifully patterned towels and linen.

Tall, freestanding structures such as this HEMNES design by Ikea offer homeowners the versatility of moving shelves and adjusting the spacing according to your personal needs.





Baskets and benches

Utilising space

Wicker baskets and wooden benches work wonderfully in larger bathrooms. The interior market is full of styles and sizes to suit any palette or preference.

If you have an interesting architectural feature in your bathroom, such as an old fireplace or low beam, make it into a storage solution by filling it with baskets and boxes.





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Desired Designs

Ideal teal Fill your home with this refreshing blue-green hue.

1 2





10 7





eal is the perfect combination of blue and green. The word is derived from the Middle English word 'tele' and its name is believed to have been inspired by the delicate coloured feathers surrounding the eyes of small freshwater duck, the Common Teal. Teal is a harmonious and tranquil colour that can be used to transform the mood of any room. The hue has been popular within interior design and was chosen as Dulux Colour of the Year 2014. Rebecca Thompson, Senior Colour and Design Manager of Dulux, comments: “Our Sea Urchin 1 is a shade of teal which has a strong yet subdued richness. Deeper, and more sophisticated than turquoise, this influential colour holds a mysterious quality which captures the grandeur of vast lakes and undiscovered forests. Drawing from this inspiration, you can combine our colour of the year with other shades of teal, blue and green to create a tone on tone effect which is both dynamic and welcoming.”

1. Turquoise Flowerpot Table Lamp, £249, Rume

2. Jansen Teapot in Teal, John Lewis

3. Towels in Teal,

£1-12, House by John Lewis

4. GPO 746 Retro Telephone, £59.95, John Lewis

5. Teal Eames Bar Stool, £79, Danetti

6. Twist Armchair Pello Teal, £539,

7. Malin Curtain in Nordic Blue, £22, John Lewis

8. Brook A4 Filing Cabinet in Turquoise, £99, House by John Lewis

9. Le Creuset Cookware in Teal, John Lewis

10. Betty armchair in Mariska Meijers Electric Ikat Teal, £490, Sofa,com

Green Living

What is Passivhaus? If you’re keen on an energy efficient home with reduced fuel emissions and therefore reduced bills, a Passivhaus design might be the answer.


assivhaus – also known as passive house – is a leading international lowenergy design standard. The concept was developed in the early 1990s by two university professors, Bo Adamson of Sweden and Wolfgang Feist of Germany. The first Passivhaus properties were built in Germany in 1991, since then around 30,000 properties have been built around the world. Passivhaus is increasingly chosen as an effective approach for reducing energy demand and CO2 emissions. Dr Wolfgang Feist explains what makes a Passivhaus property: “The heat losses of the building are reduced so much that it hardly needs any heating at all. Passive heat sources like the sun, human occupants, household appliances and the heat from the extract air cover a large part of the heating demand. The remaining heat can be provided by the supply air if the maximum heating load is less than 10W per square metre of living space. If such supply-air heating suffices as the only heat source, we call the building a Passive House.” Buildings designed to Passivhaus standards provide a high level of occupant comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling, meaning much lower heating bills. They are


built with meticulous attention to detail and rigorous design and construction. Structures designed this way can achieve a 75% reduction in space heating requirements, compared to standard practice for UK new build.

Money-saving benefits Houses that adhere to Passivhaus principles may cost more to build than conventional properties, however experienced Passivhaus designers have managed to build to these principles at no extra cost. Passivhaus-friendly products that may incur extra costs include triple glazed windows, mechanical ventilation systems and thicker insulation. However, whilst extra capital costs can amount to around 8%, heating bills are typically reduced by 90%. People living in an average UK house might use around 278kWh per m2 per year, of which around 140kWh per m2 per year would be used for space heating. In Passivhaus a target of 15kWh per m2 per year is set as a maximum energy demand for space heating, which is achieved by reducing the heat lost from the building. This is the target because aiming for levels much below this would require a larger additional heating system and the

Above: This spectacular home in Ireland was one of the first Passivhaus rated energy-efficient homes in the country

How to achieve the Passivhaus standard in the UK: † Very high levels of insulation † Extremely high performance windows with insulated frames † Airtight building fabric † Thermal bridge free’ construction † A mechanical ventilation system with highly efficient heat recovery † Accurate design using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP)

extra cost and complexity that comes with it. While renewable energy supply systems are a crucial tool for reducing UK carbon emissions, reliance on such systems can add complexity and risk to the real performance of the building. Well-insulated walls, roofs and windows require little attention as they reduce energy demand, and making the structure as airtight as possible will reduce draughts, noise and heat loss. If you have any concerns about whether Passivhaus is right for your project, the UK’s Passivhaus organisation, Passivhaus Trust, offers an abundance of advice and information. The trust is an independent, non-profit organisation that provides leadership for the adoption of the Passivhaus standard and methodology in the UK.


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E - 23/09/2015 08:24



What is custom build? Custom build – you may have heard of the phrase but do you really know what it is and how it can help you to achieve your dream home? Here Raymond Connor of BuildStore’s Custom Build Homes provides a useful insight.


he phrase ‘custom build’ was adopted by the government when it launched its housing strategy back in 2011. Using the model of our European counterparts – whereby fully serviced plots are made available for self-build. Over the last four years several schemes, initiatives and consultations have been introduced, with the Self Build & Custom Housebuilding Act coming into force in April this year. For those of us in the industry, custom build has been a long-time coming and we’ve been working with the government to develop this proposition and create homebuilding opportunities. However, we do


acknowledge that for you, the self-builder, and the wider home-seeking audience, custom build is still a relatively new concept and we are well aware that there is some confusion surrounding what it actually means! Historically, one of the greatest frustrations and stumbling blocks to getting your self-build project off the ground has been the availability of plots in your chosen location. Added to that, the sometimes lengthy process of purchasing land, planning permissions and arranging services, utilities and access roads/infrastructure can all cause complication before you even start your build. Imagine you purchase a ‘shovel ready’ plot in your desired location, which has already been granted Outline

Below left: There are plenty of custom build sites across the country


Left: Custom build provides you with a 'shovel ready' plot

Financing your custom build In most cases there is a two-phase payment process for custom build and depending on your financial situation, payments can be made as cash, cash and custom build mortgage or short-term funding. Phase 1 † Plot reservation (generally £500-£2000) † Plot purchase † Home design † Planning approvals Phase 2

Planning Permission and has all services, utilities, access infrastructure and support services in place – all that remains is for you to decide the design, size and specification of your home and your level of involvement. This is custom build and it’s available now for you to realise your dreams.

Rise in popularity Custom build sites are springing up across England and range from two to 1900 plots. Each site is managed by an enabling developer and provides a menu of custom build options from which you can choose. For instance, you might build the house yourself or employ a builder/project manager to take care of the build for you. Alternatively you could work with the site’s custom build developer, such as Potton Homes or Fairgrove Homes, who will work with you to design, plan and build your home to your specification. They will then either build your house to wind and watertight – leaving you to finish off the work just the way you want it – or complete the entire build for you, to a fixed budget and timescale. The beauty of custom build is that you have the choice to do as much or as little as you desire. Naturally you will achieve greater savings if you are willing to do some of the work yourself, but even if you contract the developer to build your house for you, the fixed budget and timescale will still allow for financial savings. If you are building as part of a community or co-housing group, costs relating to labour and materials can be minimised even further. As

with self-build, your custom build home will be design-led, visually unique and possess higher build properties, so you can also expect your home to achieve a higher sale price.

Register your interest If you think the custom build route could provide you with the ideal self-build solution, the first thing to do is visit the new Custom Build Homes website www.custombuildhomes. – here you will find everything you need to know about custom build. The site lists plots for sale and provides essential information, such as step-by-step guides, design galleries, exclusive mortgages and insurances and the latest custom build news. Much like searching for a new house on property websites, you can make specific plot enquiries, arrange a site visit, download brochures and find out more about site locality and amenities. Secondly, register your interest on The Custom Build Register - you can do this direct via the Custom Build Homes site or direct on As the UK’s biggest and longest running national record of demand for custom build, the Register is able to influence the provision of custom build sites and inform local authorities, landowners and developers of desired size and specifications from subscriber demand. By registering on the Custom Build Register you will be notified as soon as your preferred scheme and locality becomes available, creating a distinct property search advantage. An indication of how popular

Construction or ‘Build-Out’ Phase: if you have contracted the developer or build contractor to build your home, you will need to pay in three key stages: † Stage 1 – Groundworks † Stage 2 – Wind & water tight † Stage 3 – Internal/external finish (including external works), completion to handover It is recommended that you consult with a specialist broker who will be able to assess your level of affordability and advise changes in your lifestyle to optimise your application. As with a traditional self-build mortgage, you still have the option to remain living in your current home or rented accommodation whilst the build process is underway.

custom build has become is the 20,000 potential home builders that have already conveyed their interest on this dedicated Register. In addition to offering huge scope and flexibility in terms of involvement and design of your home, custom build also presents a range of property options, such as detached, semi-detached and terraced plots to suit your individual budget and lifestyle requirements. It is estimated that an average custom build can be completed within ten months, so if you are keen to create your own bespoke home as soon as possible, it could be that this self-build option is right for you.


Contracts & Legalities

Left: It's important to keep a record of your project's Health & Safety precautions

Essential health and safety provisions: † Pre-construction (or hazard) information must be available before work starts – this may mean additional survey work. † A Construction Phase Plan (CPP) must be completed before work starts, which must provide details on how site safety standards will be met. † Designers must create a concept which can be safely built, used, maintained and ultimately decommissioned.

Safety first

Chartered Safety & Health Practitioner, Louise Hosking – Director at Hosking Associates – explains why new regulations enforced earlier this year place greater responsibility on homeowners to ensure project health and safety standards are being met.


he construction industry has the largest number of occupational cancer cases, with 3500 deaths and 5500 new cancer registrations each year. Skin and lung cancer are particular problems, often caused by working with asbestos, silica and paint, and from prolonged exposure to diesel engine exhaust emissions and UV radiation. On 6 April 2015 the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) came into force. The majority of CDM previously applied to the commercial sector, however statistics tell us it’s the smaller jobs where most people are being harmed. CDM covers construction, alteration, renovation and maintenance, which now includes work by contractors in domestic homes. The regulations set legal standards for site safety arrangements, including the provision of adequate welfare facilities. Duty holders are identified as project homeowners, contractors and designers.


The regulations recognise that members of the public commissioning work on their own homes cannot be held accountable in the same manner as commercial clients. Duties are still there, but usually transferred to the Principle Contractor – or contractor if there is only one.

Homeowner responsibilities In most cases, all domestic clients should be concerned with is appointing the Principal Contractor (PC) and Principal Designer (PD) in writing, and ensuring the Health and Safety file is provided at the end where there is more than one contractor involved in the project. My advice is to receive a commitment from the PD or PC, in writing, to ensure the file will be provided within a reasonable time of the project being completed. However, homeowners who actively choose not to cooperate with their builder’s efforts to work safely could be held responsible –

† A Health & Safety file must be collated by the PD during the project and presented at the end.

especially if they give an instruction, contrary to good advice, which later leads to an incident.

Prioritising health and safety At the end of 2014, the HSE commissioned research that asked homeowners how they choose their contractors. The results found that very few mentioned safety. Attitudes need to change, because if they are looking to sell – having completed a new bathroom, conservatory or extension – and the purchaser requests a Health & Safety file which has never been created, there is potential for delays or even complications with the sale. The aim of the new legislation is to make everyone think before a spade is put into the ground, a wall is brought down, a new basement propped, or a surface of unknown construction drilled. If followed, there should be fewer surprises along the way. There is a cost to greater safety and supervision, but if you come to sell in a few years’ time only to find no file for your amazing self-build or fabulous extension, it may cost you considerably more.





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Rural Retreat are Philip ut d n a bo ine Carol g a blog a rney: u in jo it r d w uil self-b ir e h t .m www


Room with a view Philip and Caroline Harrison used knowledge from a previous extension project to self-build a three bedroom ICF construction at the end of their garden.

Rural Retreat Above: The gabled roof makes the open plan living space feel spacious Top & bottom left: Bi-folding doors open the living space onto the balcony and the impressive views beyond


n 2006 Philip and Caroline commissioned a local builder to complete a considerable extension on their West Dorset home. Seven years later, with their two teenagers about to embark on a move to university and worried that their home would be too big once the children had left, Philip and Caroline decided to build a new, smaller home in an unused

corner of their large garden. They envisioned an ultra modern building, with a steel frame, acres of glass and trendy timber cladding. However, as is often the case with a self-build project, things didn’t exactly go to plan. “I had always wanted to build my own house and the idea was confirmed to me when we extended,” explains Philip. “During the project I realised that

† 21

Rural Retreat builders were no better than a good DIY-er – yes they had better tools, but I felt they lacked commitment and regard to cost. So, when we decided to go ahead with the new project in 2013, I decided to do the work myself.� Having decided to take on the build himself, Philip wanted to keep it as simple as possible. After watching a home built using Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) on an episode of Grand Designs, he visited a self-build exhibition to learn more about this method. There he met Nick Fell, of the Fell Partnership, who is the South West distributer of a Canadian ICF product called Nudura. With all the information buzzing in his head, he decided there and then that ICF was the ideal material for his new home. Philip approached two other suppliers of ICF building products, but felt nothing compared to the quality, strength and design flexibility of Nudura. ICF structures have incredibly high-energy efficiency levels. This method of construction significantly reduces the amount of carbon emissions and the amount of


fossil fuels needed for heating. Nudura ICFs are stayin-place forms that consist of two panels of Expanded Polustyrene foam that are 67mm in thickness and connected together using a patented web system made from recycled material. The forms are stacked, then steel reinforced and filled with concrete.

Building in a conservation area Philip and Caroline approached a local design and management company armed with a brief that they felt would be granted planning permission. After much discussion the designers came up with a plan that suited the site and made the most of the stunning coastal views. Nevertheless, gaining planning permission did not run smoothly. Being granted permission to build on an infill site in a Jurrassic coastal village, which lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, was not straightforward. The couple also faced objections from a neighbour whose garden bordered the plot. After almost a year, Philip and Caroline decided to bypass their agent and deal with the planners themselves.

Above: The private property has been built at the end of Philip and Caroline's garden Opposite page, construction images, from top to bottom: The ground floor walls awaiting their concrete filling The ICF structure with the concrete filling in place The property just after the roof was placed Top right: The bedroom's patio doors lead onto a space for al freco dining below the balcony Right: The property has been built on a sloping site

Rural Retreat Philip continues: “We demanded that a decision was made, one way or another. Once planning permission was finally granted, we dumped the agent and assembled a very small, hand-picked band of local sub-contractors that I knew and trusted. The important point here is that your labour force has to be flexible yet reliable. You need a team that is available when you want them, willing to stand down when you don’t need them and able to turn their hands to do most things – after all, your self-build is all about you!” Once the build was underway, Philip and Caroline encountered another challenge due to the low and narrow access to the site. All materials had to be delivered to the end of the garden via the driveway of their current house, which runs through an archway with a neighbour’s property above it. The height restriction was just over 7ft, with two ancient stone walls enclosing the driveway only 8ft apart. The access was simply too narrow to allow lorries onto the plot, meaning all ICF forms, timber and virtually everything else needed to complete the build were

† 23


RuralEyebrow Retreat


Rural Retreat transported to the site on the back of Philip’s trusty old Mercedes estate. The Harrison’s decided to use an in-line concrete pump for the first pour because the limited site access meant using a boom pump was not possible. However, even this method proved difficult due to the problematic entrance. The remaining concrete ended up being hauled onto the site using dumpers. The team then constructed a ply hopper, tipped the concrete into it and then shoveled the material into buckets by hand to pour into the ICF cavity.

Above: The bi-folding doors help to make the room bright and airy Left: Glass balustrades aid the open-plan atmosphere Below left: The kitchen makes use of an on-trend yellow and grey palette Below: The study's themed wallpaper reflects the property's coastal position

Although the project was originally predicted to take 15 months, it ended up taking exactly 17 months, three weeks and one day. Philip discusses the delay: “This was my first house build and I got the timings wrong. Two stages took much longer than I had planned. The groundworks process of moving 600 tons of muck off site in three-ton dumpers took forever because the site access would not allow the use of lorries. The other delay was caused by the complexity of the roof design.” When it came to budget, they admitted to having



Rural Retreat

figures in mind, but never actually finalising one. When asked what the project cost them, Philip replies: “The art of decent conversation and many hours of sleep! During the build I rarely spoke about anything that was not related to the project – I must have bored friends stupid!”

Change of plan

Philip’s advice to fellow self-builders:: † Once you have your drawings in place, go through the planning application yourself – why pay professionals to do something you can? If you can build a house then you can fill out a planning application † Go the ICF route if you are not a bricklayer – the advantages are numerous as ICF just keeps giving off free heat! † Do as much as you can yourself because builders are expensive † Employ trust-worthy labour – a self-build project has no time or money for prima-donnas † Make sure your site has good access † Measure twice, cut once † Spend as much as you can afford on the materials that are important to the integrity of the building and the ease of your eye


Above: There are three double bedrooms in the new property Below: The balcony makes the most of the surrounding views

The finished property is everything the couple hoped it would be, and more. It has the refreshing look of a Mediterranean villa. The design contrasts with typical properties on the Jurassic Coast, however the site isn’t overlooked and it adheres to the mixed architecture within the quaint coastal village. Named ‘Pippin’, the house is upside down, with three large bedrooms, two bathrooms and a utility room downstairs and a study, cloakroom and large openplan living/kitchen space and balcony on the first floor, making the most of the fantastic views beyond the expansive glazing and bi-folding doors. Philip continues: “We all love the open space of the upper floor with the vaulted ceiling and how the doors bring the outside in. Although we initially planned to live in Pippin, we have now decided to stay put and holiday let our lovely new self-build. I’m sure we will move into the house in the future, but not until the children have finally flown the nest. “I would most definitely be keen to do the whole thing again. I’m currently looking for another plot with similar sea views!”

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Urban Sanctuary

Thinking outside the box Renowned for his innovative use of timber cladding and cubic structures, architect Adam Knibb has transformed his own home thanks to a cubic extension.


ith a background in one-off residential architecture, architect Adam Knibb has used his own home to demonstrate his modern architectural preferences and skill as an architect. Having lived in his white rendered, Victorian semi-detached for over two years, in 2012 he came up with a proposal to transform the Winchester property into something extraordinary.

Although the property’s ground floor provided ample room, the two small bedrooms on the first floor lacked space and felt unbalanced, as Adam explains: “We were inspired to extend out of necessity for greater space upstairs. Being an architect and coming from a construction background – my father owns a construction company – it seemed apt to put our own ‘stamp’ on the property, with the added benefit of gaining extra space.”


Right: A box design has been utilised within both the ground and first floor of the extension


All images © Limitless Photography

Below: The property's new addition is a striking contrast to the original home


Urban Sanctuary

Urban Sanctuary The property’s previous owners had been keen DIY-ers, which unfortunately had left the ground floor in dire need of an overhaul. So, as well as providing extra space on the first floor, the redesign needed to reconstruct the leaking rear lean with an extension. The simple white rendered property created the perfect backdrop for a visually stunning statement. The need to create extra space upstairs and to refurbish the existing extension on the ground floor provided Adam with two elements in which to test his architectural prowess. The new design has pushed the boundaries of traditional semi-detached properties and creates a contemporary statement from both front and back. “We decided to completely juxtapose the contemporary extension with the original architecture. This provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate my expertise in contemporary design as well as


allowing a structure that is of its own time, rather than a pastiche,” says Adam.

Contrasting extension The revisioned home incorporates a cantilevered timber box extension that allows space for a new master bedroom, ensuite and larger family bathroom on the first floor, without jeopardising the useful off-road parking space below. The home’s rear benefits from magnificent views of the south downs. This has been harnessed on the first floor, where the elevated timber structure acts as a camera obscurer to focus and indulge on the surrounding vistas. The new ground floor extension tucks neatly under the wing of the first floor. The parking space and similar boxed design on the ground floor extension provides a visually impressive illusion of supporting the upper timber box. Clad in cedar, the first floor timber cube has been set back as far as possible from the street and front elevation

Above left: Cedar cladding has been used throughout the home Above: The new master bedroom benefits from a large, full height window Right: The bathroom tiles relate to the concrete worktop and flooring on the ground below

Urban Sanctuary of the house. The ground floor now supports a more relaxed, open plan living style thanks to a new kitchen/ dining space. Well-positioned skylights allow natural light to flood into the ground floor, whilst emphasising the impressive levitating presence of the floor above. The interior scheme is industrial and makes use of raw materials. A theme of concrete, timber and animal skin sits within a minimalist monochrome palette. The result is an uncomplicated, yet on-trend, space. Timber cladding has been used on both external and internal walls. The kitchen worktop – which Adam installed himself – proudly displays craft scarring, which is unashamedly raw and serves beautifully alongside industrial-styled barstools and the poured concrete flooring. A structural beam penetrates the worktop surface, adding further to the industrial feel. The property aims to bring the outdoors in by using extensive glazing. A vibrant purple splashback has

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Urban Sanctuary

Urban Sanctuary been used in the kitchen, a statement that has been echoed on the adjoining outside wall to parallel interior with exterior. Bi-folding doors and floor to ceiling, single pane windows open the interior onto the garden. The new master bedroom on the first floor also has a large floor to ceiling, single pane window, where safety is maintained thanks to a glass balustrade. When it came to material and product specification, Adam already had a good idea of which materials would work well for the project thanks to his professional industry insight. The new polymetric render acts as a modern take on the existing building form and the timber cladding mimics the trees surrounding the house. Adam has also installed his own polished concrete flooring and worktops. Doing jobs like this himself meant hard work, but huge financial benefits.

Above: Adam poured the concrete worktop and flooring himself Left: The kitchen benefits from great views of the garden and a light and airy ambience

Living alongside the build The young family found the main challenge of the project to be living in the house whilst the works were going on. As Adam explains: “We didn’t have the additional money to rent anywhere, so we just had to put up with the dust and dirt. Looking back, it would have been good to stretch the finances further and move out for the build duration.”

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Sub-browSanctuary Urban Eyebrow The project took the young family nine months, mostly due to the fact they were living in the property and that they were carrying out a lot of the work themselves. In total, the project has cost them approximately £65k. The finished property, which they call ‘The Cube’, has not only created much-needed extra space for the young family, but also acts as a testament to Adam’s skill as an architect. Adam continues: “We are really happy with the final result. An important factor was to change the darkness of the original house into a light and enjoyable environment, and we feel we have fulfilled this brief. The building gives a very modern and contemporary impact onto its landscape, whilst responding positively to the natural surroundings. We’ve received a good response from the local community; however, modern architecture does tend to bring up differences in opinion. “My advice to anyone looking to extend or self-build is to plan everything as far as possible in advance. Look at the lead times on items – especially key components, such as windows – and try to make sure individual timings won’t affect your overall project timeframe.”


Above: The family love how much more space the extension has brought to their home Right: The home benefits from timber cladding both internally and externally

Adam Knibb Architects: Having gained wide experience on modern and sustainable structures by working for two renowned architectural firms, Adam’s work under his own architectural practice demonstrates commitment to these themes. Adam Knibb Architects use simple materials to craft buildings from its tectonic origins into grand elements. In 2013 Adam was awarded the Young Architect of the Year prize for his project, Bluebell Pool House, at the prestigious LEAF Awards.



Left: Even the smallest space can be transformed into an on-trend bathroom

Washing away your concerns Laura Weeks, Marketing Coordinator at bathroom expert Crosswater, presents the secrets to a hassle-free bathroom project.


hen planning a new bathroom, en suite or cloakroom, first draw out a plan on graph paper – using metric measurements – showing where the bath, sink, toilet and shower are positioned, noting the location of windows and doors. In addition, measure how far away


the room is from the existing waste pipes, plumbing and boiler. Consider all of the different people who will use the bathroom, from small children to grown adults, and think about those who may need a little help. Work out how much you want to spend, ensuring that you don’t invest more than you are likely to recoup if you plan to sell your

house. Make a list of priorities including what you need and what you would like to have. Take all of your information to a bathroom specialist who can help design and plan your bathroom options. Ensure they keep to your budget and ideally look for a company that can give you a 3D image of the finished room to help you decide on the best design for you. Once you have a few designs shortlisted and you’ve made a final decision on all of the products you want to include, check to see what you can get for the best price, but keep in mind that if your budget allows, investing in high quality products will result in long term saving. If you don’t have much room to work with, look for products that can be fitted into a corner or are reduced projection. There are plenty of products to choose from that offer smaller dimensions than standard sizes. Wall-hung units can maximise floor space and give the visual impression that the room is bigger than it actually is. Heated towel rails will minimise the requirements for further heat and therefore you’re less likely to need to find room for a radiator. Storage is fundamental in the bathroom, whether it’s under or over a basin on the wall, so ensure enough cupboard space is provided. Ventilation is also important, especially if there isn’t a window, so think about fitting an electric fan – and get it certified by a qualified electrician. If you can’t fit a bathroom or en suite anywhere near your waste pipe, then it might be worth investigating if you can fit a macerator toilet – they can be noisy, but are worthwhile if it means you get that extra flexibility.

Creating an en suite An en suite or cloakroom can make a big difference when you have visitors and will add value to your home. Look for dead space that you aren’t using for anything important and that is near the waste pipe. For example, you could use the space currently taken up by fitted wardrobes in a bedroom, or use a partition wall to divide the room. Another option is to take space from two rooms rather than one; this is easier if the walls you want to use are partitions rather than structural. Make sure you can still fit a single or double bed in the remaining space, rather than losing a bedroom. If you want a downstairs toilet, think about any space you could utilise under your stairs or divide from the kitchen or utility room.

Sub-browBathroom Eyebrow

Renovating a bathroom Renovating a tired, dreary bathroom is not a difficult task if you can keep to the same basic layout. There are lots of ways to update your bathroom on a smaller budget. For a quick update, upgrade the bath and/or the basin. It might be that the bath just needs a good clean, or the taps and waste pipes need changing – this is easy to do and very cost-effective. If you are lucky enough to have a cast iron bath but the ceramic covering has started to crack, consider buying a resurfacing kit or hiring someone to do a professional job for you, rather than replacing it. When you come to sell your home, buyers tend to rate period features. For the final touches, accessorise and complement with new curtains or blinds, by adding a new shower curtain or panel and by putting down a new floor. A coat of paint on the walls will give your bathroom a whole new look – check out specialist bathroom paints for durability.

Upgrade the suite Fitting a new suite into the existing design is a more affordable option and easier than relocating the bath, sink or toilet. However, if you want to fit a new suite or relocate the bath, shower, toilet or sink, try not to do anything that would involve changing the existing pipe work or costs will start to mount. When choosing a suite, consider a bath made from acrylic, cast iron or steel – but check that the floor is strong enough to take a cast iron bath. You might

want to go all the way by including a luxurious spa, adding a roll-top bath or even creating a wet room. It is best to purchase a bathroom suite of the highest quality that your budget will allow and it’s worth looking around, as there is a huge range of products to choose from. Look online for ideas or visit your local bathroom specialists to ensure you are getting the best deal for your money. If someone is quoting for purchasing the goods and fitting them, always check what it would cost to have these jobs done separately.

Building regulations Once your new bathroom or en suite is complete, you may be required to gain the relevant building regulations approval – including drainage, any electrics or ventilation and meeting safety standards for glass. If you are remodelling your bathroom, it’s worth updating to current building regulation standards, such as ensuring that any metal plumbing is earthed where electrics are earthed and that electrical fittings such as fans, sockets and additional lighting are signed off by a Part P registered electrician. Above: This free standing bath oozes luxury Right: In some cases, a new floor and a lick of paint is all that is needed to bring a bathroom back on-trend


Eyebrow Lighting Sub-brow

Guiding light Lighting is a key component to any self-build project; it has a fundamental effect on how the space works and how you feel inside it. Iain Shaw, Partner at lighting expert Brilliant Lighting, presents how to perfect your lighting scheme.


our self-build offers so many opportunities to create a unique space that appeals to your own requirements and preferences, and lighting has a key role to play in this. The lighting landscape is changing rapidly. LED is fast becoming the principal light source for new homes, however this lighting technology is more complex than traditional sources. Whatever technology you’re working with, it’s essential to align and plan all aspects of your lighting design. You need to start planning your lighting as early in the design process as possible. The more you treat your lighting as an architectural item, the more opportunities you will have to integrate your lighting into the fabric of the building. Getting ahead of the build process is vital. For example, the floor is a great location for recessed uplights, but it’s lost as an opportunity once the screed for the underfloor heating is down. If you plan ahead you can make the most of all the opportunities in your build.


Consider how you use your home Lighting design isn’t formulaic, but it helps to have a structured approach. At Brilliant Lighting, when we approach the design of a project we start by looking at how the space is going to be used. Work through how you are going to live in your new home and consider the function of each room – it’s your house and only you really know how you will live in it. This means understanding how rooms are laid out and where you want the focal points to be.


Identify what you really want to highlight or emphasise. You’ll want shadow-free task lighting in key locations, but are there other areas that you want highlighted, such as artwork and photographs? Where do you plan on spending your time later in the day – are there certain cosy evening spots that will need good lighting? Think about what is going to make the space special and then think about how you might support that with light.

Understand potential problems It’s worth considering the potential drawbacks of your space. Understanding potential issues early is a huge advantage. For example, have you got dramatic architectural features that might cause lighting issues? Planning out your basic lighting requirements early in the project should help you side-step the issues that only become glaring when the electrician is onsite looking to run cables. Will your ceiling be low or high? Is the space going to be open plan – will it cater for a bulk of cables? It’s very easy to look at an almost wholly glazed room and picture how fantastic it will look in the light evenings of summer, but you need to make every room usable all year round. Taking a realistic look at the space early in the process will help you to identify where the lighting challenges are going to be and help you to head them off.

Create a plan Once you have identified how you will use the different areas of your home and the potential problems of its design, you can start to make a plan. Determine the optimum route – plan for different ambiences by thinking about your lighting in layers. For example, what lighting is going to provide your dayto-day needs and what is going to be the mainstay of lighting a space? Task lighting is important and much easier if considered early in the process. Think about how you are going to deliver particular lighting to particular areas, such as food preparation spaces or a home office. Accent lighting completes the jigsaw – it highlights the features in your home that you want to show off and makes them look amazing. This doesn’t have to be artwork, it can be anything that is special to you and understanding the elements of your home will help you to identify these. Many people choose to light staircases, baths and pillars – anything with a ‘wow’ statement. Make the space personal to you.

Working with LEDs Modern lighting solutions are very efficient. Building regulations have effectively outlawed incandescent sources, meaning that LED is a really important lighting source. However, the bad news is that LED is evolving rapidly which means there are certain things to avoid when planning your scheme. Buy high quality LED fittings, test them out, look at the colour of the light and

Above left: Start planning your lighting as early in the build process as possible Left: Highlight focal features such as staircases Above: Don't forget to think about exterior lighting as well as interior

be very clear with the people working on your project if you want to dim fittings. In my experience, the biggest cause of lighting design issues is when LED’s are treated the same as incandescent lighting. Dimming LED is a problematic area because the traditional dimming techniques you may have used in the past are largely redundant for the technology. Lighting control systems offer control of all the major lighting control standards, meaning you can manage dimming and colour in your software. Lighting control systems also offer other advantages – they make your lighting more efficient and can link with your security systems.


Sub-brow Renewables Eyebrow

Renewable revolution The Welsh School of Architecture has designed and built a zero carbon and energy smart house as an example of low cost, environmentally friendly home building.


rofessor Phil Jones and his team based at Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture have created a property that is capable of exporting more energy to the national electricity grid than it uses. The Solcer House was built in just 16 weeks, the property’s unique systems approach to design combines renewable energy supply, thermal and electrical energy storage and reduced energy demand. The result is an energy positive house at an affordable cost. Professor Phil Jones, Chair of Architectural Science at Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, comments: “The building demonstrates a leading edge low carbon supply, storage and demand technology at a domestic scale which we hope will be replicated in other areas of Wales and the UK in the future.” In order to minimise the energy demand, the house has been built with high levels of thermal insulation and reduced air leakage. It uses an innovative energy efficient design which includes low carbon cement, SIPS, external insulated render, transpired solar air collectors (TSC) and low emissivity double glazed aluminium clad


timber frame windows and doors. The integrative approach to construction uses renewable energy systems as building elements. The upper first floor wall incorporates the TSC solar air collector and the south facing roof is the 4.3kWp PV panel system. This reduces costs and improves aesthetics, avoiding the ‘bolt-on’ approach often associated with renewable energy systems. The aim of the design was to reduce the embodied energy in the building construction, as well as reducing the operating energy over its lifetime use.

Integrated approach The energy systems combine solar generation and battery storage to power both its combined heating, ventilation, hot water system, and its electrical power systems which includes appliances and LED lighting. In winter, space heat is provided by passing external air through the upper south facing transpired solar air collector (TSC), then through a mechanical ventilation heat recovery unit (MVHR), and then into the rooms. Exhaust air is passed through the MVHR and then through an exhaust air heat pump, which heats the thermal water store. The thermal store heats

Above: The Solcer House demonstrates the benefits of renewable technologies

domestic hot water (DHW). The heat pump is powered by the PV and battery storage system. The house uses grid electricity supply when the PV-battery system is exhausted. The components of the building have been sourced, as far as reasonably practicable, from Welsh manufacturers and installers, and the house will be used as a demonstration of advanced Welsh construction technologies. The low carbon systems have been designed to be affordable and replicable, using market available technologies. This systems approach aims to use a very low amount of energy to provide a comfortable environment for the building’s occupants. The Solcer House was built as part of the Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) programme, set up to unite and promote energy research in Wales and to help deliver a low carbon future by uniting the diverse range of low carbon energy research across Welsh universities at Cardiff, Swansea, South Wales, Glyndwr, Bangor and Aberystwyth, working closely with industry and government.

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i-build i-nterior i-scape


Can a house really be made out of straw? Forget everything that The Three Little Pigs fairytale taught you; straw bale construction is a natural and affordable self-build construction method.


elf-builders considering to build a home made out of straw need not worry about it being blown down by the big bad wolf, in fact many straw bale houses in the USA have been inhabited for over 100 years with no reason as to why they won’t last another century. Here in the UK, straw bale construction gained popularity in the 1990s, appealing to the eco-conscious. Growth in general awareness of this method of construction has led to an increasing number of buildings of this type in the UK. Straw bale is a flexible and eco-friendly material for home-building that can be used in two ways: either loadbearing or infill. With the load-bearing technique, straw bale is stacked to directly support structural elements, such as the roof, intermediate floors and joists. The framed technique uses a timber frame to support the


structure and straw bale to fill the gaps within the frame. Keen self-builders wanting to take a hands on approach to building their own home will benefit from the simple and straight-forward advantages of straw bale construction. With good instruction and on-site supervision, even those with no previous building experience can pick up the basics of wall construction very easily.

Eco-benefits Constructing your own walls will inevitably be a slower process than if you hired a contractor to do it for you, but it will save you money by reducing labour costs. However, straw bale construction may not be as cheap as you might imagine. This is because you will need to employ experts to complete certain aspects of your home-build – such as construction drawings, carpentry,

Above: The Spiral House was built in Country Mayo, Ireland by the owner Norita Clesham, with the help of straw bale construction expert Barbara Jones in 2000-2003 Below: Straw is a remarkably malleable and versatile material

i-build roofing, plumbing and electrics. Straw has fantastic thermal insulation values – typically a U-value of around 0.13. Well designed and built straw bale homes can easily achieve level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. This means that a straw bale home will require very little energy input once built, saving future spend on bills and easing concerns surrounding environmental burden. Flexibility is another advantage of straw bale building. It is a malleable material that is easy to bend and shape into curved walls or to carve out shelves within the structure. This is especially useful if you decide to add an extra window as there is usually no need to support the rest of the wall as the wall plate carries most of the load of the floor above and the straw bales act together as an integral material because of how they are pinned.


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Eyebrow i-build Sub-brow It’s also worth noting that this construction method is not just for rural living. Straw bale walls provide excellent natural acoustic insulation, perfect for blocking out the noise of the city. In fact, the acoustic values are so efficient that straw bale has been used in UK sawmills to reduce the noise pollution from loud machinery.

Concerns and misconceptions When considering this construction method, many self-builders have concerns surrounding fire and vermin risks. However, when straw bales are stacks with plaster either side, the density of the bales is such that there isn’t enough air inside the bales for them to burn. Straw bale walls have successfully passed fire tests and satisfy Building Regulations. In fact, plastered straw bale walls are so fire resistant that they are often used as fire protection between semi-detached houses. With regards to mice and rats, straw doesn’t contain any food that will attract vermin and has no greater risk than any other type of building. Once plastered, straw bale walls will have no gaps to entice furry friends and no cavities for them to live in. Another concern might be the temperamental British weather. If a straw bale wall gets damp before being plastered, it can be problematic. If the top and bottom of a bale is covered and it is just the sides that get wet from rain, this usually presents no problem, as they will quickly dry out. However, if a bale gets wet from above and below right through to the center, then it will start to rot. If a bale already in place becomes sodden it should be disregarded, but is simple to replace. Any bales that are rained on or stand in water whilst in storage should also be disposed of.

Expert guidance Barbara Jones – Director of leading authority on straw bale building, Straw Works – has created a


practical manual for anyone keen to learn how to build with straw bales. 'Building with Straw Bales' covers everything from design principles and how to protect walls from the weather through to detailed analysis of how straw performs with humidity and how straw bale buildings can easily meet Building Regulation requirements. Straw Works also offer a number of training courses to help anyone preparing to build with straw bales.

Above: Straw Works offer various courses across the country that teach self-builders how to build with straw Below: Straw bale can be used alongside a timber frame to provide effective insulation

NHBC Solo – the right choice for your self-build project

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Using an NHBC registered builder for a custom-build home? Then Buildmark, our flagship 10 year warranty and insurance protection, is for you. n Insurance from exchange of contract up to completion which includes cover for loss of deposit if your builder becomes insolvent. n Builder warranty and the NHBC guarantee for the first 2 years after completion. n A further 8 years’ insurance against certain damage to the home.

Talk to us today... Call us now on 0844 633 1000 and ask for ‘Customer Services’. Or visit For full terms and conditions including financial limits refer to the policy booklet. NHBC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

H558 11/14

i-nterior i-build

Reaching new heights

Above: The pleated ceiling creates a stunning impact on the design Left: The new flooring of the extension meets with the wooden herringbone pattern of the original property

A three-storey period terrace house in North London has been transformed thanks to an extension with a striking pleated roof.


he North London property’s rear benefits from stunning views of the adjoining Parkland Walk conservation area – a linear park, formerly a railway line which runs from Finsbury Park to Muswell Hill. Keen to make the most of this rare piece of nature in suburbia, the homeowners approached architecture studio Bureau de Change to come up with an extension design that would open their house up onto the surrounding woodland. Bureau de Change’s founding architects Katerina Dionysopoulou and Billy Mavropoulos have created a concept that opens the property onto


the garden whilst creating the sense of volume inside thanks to an innovative ceiling design. The extension sits four steps below the property to align with the sunken garden. The focal point of the project is a pleated roof at the back of the house, which appears to be formed from a flat surface and is forced to crinkle up into a faceted structure as it is pushed up against the exterior wall. From the garden, the pleats are purposefully sunk from view, creating the impression of a simple flat roof, allowing the character of the original building to stand out. Katerina comments: “With the pleated roof we wanted to not only bring a


Eyebrow i-nterior Sub-brow

graphic feel to the modern extension, but also to create a feeling of motion which would emphasise the meeting of old and new. The poise of the roof offers natural points for the placement of generous skylights, which satisfy the owners’ desire to see the nearby woodland whilst relaxing in the space. The openings also bring light into the living area, which would otherwise be shrouded by its position in the centre of the house.”

Visual impact The project took a total of seven months. The original building fabric at ground level has been removed and replaced by the new pleated extension which ‘props up’ the remainder of the house. Eliminating any visible columns was technically challenging, but essential to maintaining uninterrupted views of the garden. Forming a side and rear extension, the roof expands the existing kitchen and creates a new dining and work area. The roof pleats are replicated along the party


i-nterior wall, concealing a home office which can be opened up when required. The boundary of the kitchen is marked assertively by the end of the pleated ceiling, which is capped by a midnight blue surface that emphasises its ample peaks and troughs. Darkened surfaces continue through the kitchen into a long passage that extends along the left side of the property, conveniently and discreetly creating a storage and utilities ‘zone’. Commenting on the design, Billy adds: “Materials and colours were carefully proportioned and distributed to visually mark the transitions between living spaces and to create a natural circulation.” .

Texture and pattern The scheme is characterised by a rich palette of colours, materials and textures, which create a different experience in each space. The bold pleats are softed by three cylindrical lights which suspend over the central kitchen worktop. The kitchen itself boasts a minimalist design, with

sharp edges and a single, tall curved sink tap. The walls are painted a crisp white – a striking contrast to the midnight blue walls that edge the ceiling and kitchen cabinets. Large terrazzo slabs are a gentle relief from the clinical palette. The flooring works its way up steps to meet with encaustic tiles when entering the original hallway and tonal parquet flooring in a herringbone pattern in the living room. The use of contrasting flooring complements the complexion of the original building, whilst enhancing the graphic impact of the angular extension. Katerina says: “We are very happy with the end result, as is the homeowner. The extension has become a relaxing and functional space for the family. The rich combination of materials has worked very successfully – creating the changes in atmosphere throughout the house that we were aiming for, whilst maintaining a feeling of cohesion in their distribution.”

Left: The kitchen boasts a modern design Above left: The extension benefits from extensive glazing Above: Encaustic tiles feature within the home's hallway


Eyebrow i-scape Sub-brow

Modular magnificence As society grows and changes, many homeowners are looking for new ways to bring more space into their homes. This is reflected in the rising demand for modular garden rooms. 50


here are many advantages to modular structures. Premanufactured construction means the homeowner doesn’t need to worry about creating an airtight structure, but instead they can do the ‘fun job’ of transforming it into a space that works for them. Lee Thornley, Founder of new modular room brand Bert & May Spaces, explains the attraction of fully functional garden rooms: "Many modular garden rooms are built off site, meaning they cause no disruption to living circumstances whilst being built and there is no need to worry


about project management or dealing with builders. These structures can be incredibly quick to construct due to the nature of the materials used to build – for example, many are made using modular panels instead of bricks and mortar – meaning all the homeowner needs to do is add mains connection and decorate it as desired. These advantages mean that within a matter of weeks you can have a new fully functioning living space in your garden, plus if you move you can take it with you. Because of this, modular garden rooms can add value to your current and future property.”

Changing needs Belgian company, Atmosphere et Bois specialise in the use of reclaimed materials. They have recently launched an outdoor module lodge called ‘Barn Box’ that is the ideal choice for a garden room, home office, den or even spare room. The design includes the use of a range of reclaimed wood that has been prized for its character and beauty. For example, one design sees European grey wood chosen for the module’s exterior cladding, century-old Canadian barn wood features on the interior and French oak flooring – sourced from old railway wagons – which provides a smooth natural floor that already has a sought-after aged appeal. Philippe Auboyneau, owner of Atmosphere et Bois, comments on why he believes modular garden rooms are growing in popularity: “People’s needs are changing and they are always looking for extra living space. In


Above: Bert & May has just launched its 'Bert's boxes' range of modular structures Above right: Rooms such as these have the advantage of being moved if needs be Right: Atmosphere et Bois use reclaimed materials on its garden room designs


i-scape today’s society we believe that people are increasingly feeling the need to escape the stress of work and a busy lifestyle. The Barn Box concept provides homeowners with the opportunity to have an extra room for whatever their need, but in their garden. It provides an extra private space without having to build an extension. The advantage of the Barn Box is that it is fully prepared in the workshop. When it arrives at the buyers home it is ready to place and use.” The Barn Box can be delivered as a complete unit or as a flat-packed kit. Both modules include interior and exterior wiring for lighting and power points. The designs have highly efficient insulation that not only reduces environmental footprint, but also creates a comfortable structure. The modular rooms are available in the UK from Holloways of Ludlow.

Rise in demand Another reclaimed materials expert that has recognised the market demand for modular garden rooms is Bert & May. Known for its antique tiles and reclaimed timber flooring, the British brand has just launched a modular home range. ‘Bert’s Boxes’ are simple, high-spec and affordable boxes for those who want extra space. Founder Lee Thornley continues: "At Bert & May we are noticing a rise in the requests we are getting for people to build external spaces in their gardens. The growth in popularity, we believe, is down to the fact that families are using their living spaces in very different ways. Multi-generational living and empty-nesters seeing the return of their offspring after university means that space is of a premium.” Designed in collaboration with Box 9 Design, Bert’s Boxes aim to challenge the perception many of us hold of how a space can be enjoyed. The designs come in a variety of sizes to suit any space. Shown on the previous page is the biggest box. Made from aged natural oak cladding, earthy tiles and


burnished rust coloured steel windows, it blends into the countryside. Bert's Big Box provides a spacious master suite and en suite bathrom with a fully retractable wall to enable open air showering. A very generous living space with fully fitted Bert & May Kitchen leads out onto a terrace and creates a wonderful space for al fresco dining and living. The volumetric factory construction allows homeowners to benefit from the certainty of knowing their development will be delivered on time and on budget and at a cost effecting price.

Above: Modular garden rooms add space without the need to extend Below: Structures come in all shapes, sizes and price brackets

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o e, Most m e pre-mad com d s e e m n o u ro g all yo meanin add mains o to d is ction conne



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Eyebrow Preview i-build Sub-brow

Scottish showcase

Above: A new event for 2015, Scotland Build will be a leading platform for the construction industry

Taking place at Glasgow’s SECC 25-26 November, Scotland Build 2015 is a leading new construction exhibition to focus on the building and construction boom across Scotland.


cotland Build 2015 will host more than 125 exhibitors, showcasing the latest products, services and projects across the whole of Scotland. These will include a wide range of suppliers and contractors, featuring the latest innovations and high-tech solutions to drive the industry’s growth. The exhibition will include leading names from across the industry, comprising Celotex Saint Gobain, Interserve, Balfour Beatty, Kingspan and Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) – among many others. The two day conference will host over 50 top level speakers, with headline talks by William McBride from Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and by Rufus Logan from BRE. The conference will also examine topics such as narrowing down the skills shortage and building to enable Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions, as well as highlighting some of the leading public and private sector construction projects within Scotland. The show will also feature a VIP area with six exclusive ‘Meet the Buyer’ sessions and


dedicated networking opportunities with government and local authority figureheads. Key decision makers from Scotland’s main contractors, architects, engineers and developers will all be in attendance. Each session will kick off with a 10 minute keynote presentation from a leading industry body, followed by a panel of construction experts, discussing the investment opportunities and forecasts across each sector and providing a unique platform for extensive networking and business exchange for all parties involved. All registered VIP attendees will be provided a full complimentary lunch and drinks to follow each panel discussion. Scotland Build also provides 22 hours of free CPD accredited training workshops from the likes of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), CITB, NBS and more leading industry experts and consultants. The event is supported by both the Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce among many other leading industry associations.

Duncan Booker, Sustainable Glasgow Programme Manager at Glasgow City Council, comments: “Glasgow is looking forward to welcoming Scotland Build for the first time at the SECC in November. We’ve emerged from some really challenging times and there is now a growing confidence across the whole construction sector. So it’s all the more important that we have a place like Scotland Build where everyone involved in the built environment can come together, learn from one another and look forward to a profitable future!” Scotland Build is lined up to be the most important meeting of construction industry figureheads, presenting countless opportunities for networking and business development. The conference sessions, training workshops and exhibition are completely free to attend, simply visit the event’s website to register your attendance.

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Pre-manufacturedi-build homes

Left: The home has been carefully orientated to maximise natural light and solar gain Below: The interior is modern and spacious

Individually styled home Duncan and Christine Penny commissioned Baufritz to design and build their new home, knitting contemporary design into a charming rural setting.


he finished house is an excellent example of Baufritz’s ability to meet the demands of a complex brief and site. The Pennys wanted to replace an existing 1960s house on the site, which had a haphazard layout thanks to numerous extensions and which was very expensive to run. In its place, Christine and Duncan wanted a contemporary and sustainable house that would better suit the needs of them and their family. Obtaining planning for a contemporary new home on an elevated plot adjoining a Conservation Area was challenging. Baufritz’s solution was to build the house into the hillside site and split it into three distinct elements beneath separate roofs to break up the volume. Timescale was also a critical factor as the family needed to move out of their home during construction. Thanks to Baufritz’s prefabricated timber frame construction, the timber and render exterior was erected within three days, with the house complete and ready to move into soon afterwards. The entrance elevation presents as two modest wings arranged in an L-shape. Slender columns support the first floor, giving the house


a lightweight appearance. The main external materials here are white render and red clay tiles – a contemporary palette that nevertheless blends comfortably with the setting. The garden elevation, on the other hand, offers something quite different and a much livelier composition. Here three storeys face the large south-facing garden, with a tall grey timber-clad section that juts upwards and contrasts with the pale render and clay tiles used elsewhere. A large timber

terrace with a steel and glass balustrade runs across, with a glazed verandah that forms an elegant outside living space. Inside, the main open plan space contains an entrance hall leading to spacious living, dining and kitchen areas. The feeling of space is enhanced by generous amounts of light entering the house from three sides through full height windows, leading to a generous series of balconies and terraces. To one side, a smaller living room can be partitioned off by sliding doors to create a more intimate space. Upstairs, four large bedrooms each have their own private bathroom. The master suite is particularly impressive, with full height ceilings extending into the pitch of the roof to enhance the sense of space. On the lower ground floor there is a wine cellar, music room and a large games room with sliding doors opening onto the garden. Sustainability was a key criterion for Duncan and Penny when designing their house, whose design exceeds Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. 90% of the demolished house was removed for recycling, while the prefabricated timber frame construction method minimised construction waste. The house is well-insulated using natural materials, and carefully orientated to maximise natural light and solar gain during winter. External blinds reduce overheating during the summer. The house is an incredible 100 tonnes gross carbon store, and has provision for solar hot water or PV cells on the main roof. A rainwater harvesting system is used for WCs and laundry. 01223 235632

RAK Ceramics has introduced a new compact bathroom range, to meet the huge demand for affordable, design-led sanitaryware. New Origin 62 has the sleek, contemporary lines of a premium product range but is priced to appeal to all sectors. The range includes two WC’s and matching basins. Origin 62 sanitaryware options include a close coupled and back to wall WC, whilst basins include two full pedestal designs and a semi-recessed model. The range has been developed to deliver on aesthetics, quality, practical features and value. It provides home owners with a stylish, premium looking option at a competitive price.

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Affordable high-end appeal 01730 237850

Silva Timber branches out with yellow cedar Silva Timber is delighted to announce that it has expanded its product range by becoming the UK's first supplier of yellow cedar shingles and shakes. Yellow cedar is one of the world’s most durable woods and its consistent grain structure means it is a good species for carving, joinery and carpentry. It grows along the Pacific coast of North America, from Alaska to Oregon, and is approved under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. Shingles and shakes offer an excellent alternative to traditional roofing and cladding materials due to their durability, attractive appearance, outstanding insulation properties and ease of installation. Cedar shingles and shakes have been used for hundreds of years and have proven their durability in all kinds of climates. They can be used to create striking buildings, and their rich colour and texture blend beautifully in any natural environment. Silva Timber is committed to providing the highest quality and sustainably sourced speciality timbers for private projects. Yellow cedar has exceptional longevity, is economical and hardwearing. It’s a beautiful species with excellent performance characteristics, and is highly-rated amongst the specification market. Yellow cedar shingles and shakes are the ideal product for any project. They are superior in stability, strength and weather resistance, ensuring your project continues to look its best for years to come. 0151 495 3111

High quality rainwater systems for luxury homes Yeoman Rainguard Rainwater Systems provided the perfect finishing touch for four new individual and opulent properties in Wetherby by developers Mulbrand Ltd. Mulbrand required a quality rainwater system which would complement the properties' high specification finish. Yeoman Rainguard XL Aluminium 125 x 100mm MOG gutters were chosen along with 75mm round downpipes in an Anthracite Grey colour. Plain Cast Aluminium Hoppers were also installed on some of the properties. XL Aluminium gutters are designed to be joined using an internal push fix joint clip which does not require any mechanical fixings saving time with onsite installation. The range requires no maintenance and has a life span of up to 25 years. 0113 279 5854

Premade houses by Hanse Haus Hanse Haus is a premium supplier of turnkey, premanufactured, ultra high efficiency homes. Founded back in 1929, it now erects some 400 homes annually Europe-wide and has been active in the UK since 2006.
With over 85 years’ experience in the construction industry and boasting more than 30,000 completed homes, Hanse Haus offers bespoke, timber frame homes which commonly see completion, from onsite delivery to a turnkey finish, in 8-12 weeks. Each Hanse Haus has an extremely low energy requirement due to the specialist design and construction techniques which lead to almost no heat loss through walls, roof or windows. 0845 658 9780


Product Guide

KBB raises Pisa’s game with complementary colours KBB – a specialist in replacement doors for kitchen, bedroom and bathroom cabinetry – has added three critical finishes to its Bellissimo Pisa range to perfectly complement the five woodgrains. White, Cashmere and Cream are the new on-trend solid colours for Pisa’s slab door format. Pisa is made in the innovative new PVC-edged MFC with almost invisible laser edging. There is a developing preference for woodgrains combined with solid colours which tone with them rather than contrast strongly. The new solid colours in Bellissimo’s Pisa range allow homeowners to achieve this contemporary two-tone look in an affordable and timely fashion.

Bold cladding completes new home A startlingly modern private dwelling in Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire, has been designed and constructed by its owner using Trespa Meteon architectural cladding panels over the entire external, non-glazed surface. The two-storey dwelling totalling some 10,000ft2 is of steel frame construction set on concrete pads enclosed in SIPP wrapping. 635m2 of Trespa cladding in matt finish and a further 243m2 of Nordic Black in matt finish were used on the external elevations, installed by means of the TS200 invisible fixing system. The form of the building was created by owner/developer David Grainger with Trespa in mind. He says: “Having seen this material used for offices in and around London and major apartment buildings I decided to use the product on the house. It was well worth doing, particularly in respect of the low-maintenance requirements of the product.” The property is designed with energy-saving very much to the fore. It features triple-glazed window and door units, an air source heat pump, under floor heating and solar tiles for lighting which produce 15KVA output. The building also boasts a water reclaim system by which all rainwater is captured for re-use within the home. Trespa specialises in decorative, high-pressure compact laminates with an integral surface manufactured using Trespa’s unique in-house technologies that utilise Dry-Forming and Electron Beam Curing. The panels perform exceptionally well outdoors with neither sun nor rain having any significant effect on the surface. Trespa offers a 10 year conditional product warranty on the entire range and with a broad range of colours, finishes and tactile effects available, Trespa Meteon brings compelling aesthetic and nearly limitless design possibilities to next-generation architectural claddings. 0808 234 0368

58 0800 112 4973

Renewable technology at core of the Omnie collection The Omnie collection by Timóleon includes the LWD air source heat pumps which are produced by the hugely respected German manufacturer, Alpha-InnoTec. The 6-9kW LWD models have been developed to offer high efficiency and very quiet operation as well as a long low maintenance working life. The heat pumps, which are charged with the environmentally friendly R290 refrigerant, require a standard single phase power supply and can operate at flow temperatures of up to 70ºC. They are also quiet, running with a recorded noise level of 47dB at one metre distance, while they have been designed for ease of installation. 01392 363605 Chris.Weaver@timó

Total control A key consideration in achieving genuine energy efficiency and fuel savings from high performance renewable technologies is having the correct controls, which is why Timóleon’s holistic OMNIE range encompasses a comprehensive selection of control units. The company’s recently launched offering to the building services sector brings a range of renewable technologies, all optimised by utilising stateof-the-art controls. The entry level sees programmable room thermostats as well as simple Dial thermostats. Both are flush mounted and modern in appearance. OMNIE achieves its true potential through the use of Network controls which are configured around the OMNIE Control Hub: a stylish all-in-one interface with touch screen that is available with four different frame options. The Hub can be used to control heating, hot water, ventilation and cooling. 01392 363605 Chris.Weaver@timó

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i-build October 2015  

i-build October 2015

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