THE PRINCIPLES WHICH GUIDE US
W We would like to share with you how the design
concepts which inspire Environ guide the creation of our unique homes. This booklet is intended to provide an overview of the quality you can expect from an Environ home, and the care we take to provide our customers with a space which promotes personal well being. Size, volume, dimensions and style are terms often used to describe a house, yet it is the relationship between space and light which shape our experience of the building and ultimately turn a house into a home.
A Pattern Language In the 1970s Professor Christopher Alexander of the Centre for Environmental Structure at
Berkeley University suggested that certain
is enjoying the warmth of the sun on a spring day, a
patterns exist in the natural environment which
swim in the sea, or a walk amongst trees, connecting
we as humans have an innate physiological
with nature inspires, revives and rejuvenates us in
recognition of and positive response to.
ways we cannot explain. It dissolves daily tensions
Alexander proposed that if these natural patterns
that occupy our lives and bodies, to make way for a
can be mimicked within buildings their inhabitants
more vibrant state of well being.
will feel a greater sense of connection to the space and their well-being will be enhanced.
Biophilia, when expressed in the built environment, is referred to as Biophilic Design. This is an architectural celebration of natural
forms, processes, patterns, qualities and materials, which leads to dwellings that support productivity
Christopher Alexander provides great insight into
and joyful living through their positive impact on
the understanding of built form, but it is Frank
physical, mental and emotional health. Buildings
Lloyd Wright, the architect of Falling Water - a
based upon Biophilic Design feature both visual
house emerging out of a rock face above a
and physical connections to the outdoors.
waterfall - who truly demonstrated the importance
Ample natural lighting, ventilation from fresh air,
of nature in home design. Lloyd Wright’s
views over landscaped grounds or water and easy
structures could be thought of as the precursor to
access to outdoor space are all hallmarks of Biophilic
what is now known as Biophilic Design.
Design, and serve to effectively bring the ‘outside in’.
The concept of Biophilia is centred around the
The need to be connected to nature, and
premise that because humans have evolved from
the benefits this brings, are certainly not new
the natural world, the desire for places and spaces
concepts. Environ has for many years used
which allow us to connect with nature is deeply
Christopher Alexander’s principles, and those of
rooted within our DNA. It is now well documented
Biophilia to achieve a host of awards for designs
that humans benefit from direct interaction with the
and developments which connect people to
natural world, including our beloved pets. Whether it
green space and daylight.
Freshford Mill, Freshford
Carbon Dioxide emissions by fifteen million tonnes every year in Europe. Allowing daylight to illuminate rooms is beneficial not only for the planet but also for human well being, since exposure to natural light is linked to improved mood, enhanced morale, lowered fatigue and reduced eye strain. The colour spectrum in natural light helps our bodies to maintain sleep/wake rhythms in synchronisation with day and night, since the blue light of morning helps us to become
A key feature of Environ homes is the provision
alert and focussed, while the red and orange light
of large windows. In years gone by, glazing was
of the afternoon and evening triggers the process
limited since it led to heat loss, however this
of slowing down and eventually sleeping. Contact
lack of focus on fenestration was not generally a
with ample daylight is also believed to have an
problem since past generations spent more time
especially positive impact on those in their mature
outdoors. Our society now spends approximately
years and people who suffer from conditions such
ninety percent of its time indoors, which can lead
as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
to adverse impacts on health associated with lack of contact with natural surroundings.
In an Environ home, extensive double or triple glazed fenestration allows you to enjoy the effects of natural light and the sense of being connected
Let There Be Light!
to the outdoors without the fear of heat loss. Environmentally-sound LED lighting provides
On a clear day, sunlight is five hundred to a
additional illumination both indoors and out.
thousand times greater than artificial light. It is
Pendant lights are featured over kitchen islands
estimated that by replacing buildingsâ€™ electric
and tables, floor lights are installed on stairs and
lighting with daylight it is possible to reduce
down lighters are carefully positioned over basins.
are of paramount consideration in the design
lack of privacy through windows at home to
process. Internal feature windows create a
increased stress levels. As Environ houses are built
Whenever possible, Environ homes are
sense of space within our houses and add to
with the aim of enhancing well-being, solutions
positioned so that the main living areas enjoy a
the light, open feel. Each dwelling is constructed
to maintain privacy are an important feature. For
South-facing aspect in order to maximise natural
with the aim of maximising views onto the
example, some homes are fitted with switchable
light availability. Every resident of our schemes
carefully landscaped garden, grounds and
glass that can be changed from transparent to
has easy access to outdoor spaces where they
opaque depending on the occupantsâ€™ desire for
can enjoy the warmth of the sun, the cool of the shade and the ambience of the setting.
privacy. A number of our residences also enable
the owners to choose the degree to which they interact with the surrounding community by
Views The views through and out of Environ homes
Our belief in the benefits of extensive glazing is
providing â€˜transitionalâ€™ living spaces that are open
balanced by a careful consideration for the privacy
to public view, such as a front porch, as well as
of our residents. Studies have linked a perceived
those that are more secluded and personal.
to poor indoor air quality that can adversely
affect health. At Environ, we think that sustainable living,
By contrast, one of the key features of an
Our consultants have shown that the most economic
energy efficiency and well-being go hand in
Environ home is the comparatively extensive
and efficient method to heat a house is through
hand. Many new-build home schemes have
use of double or treble glazed windows, which
modern gas technology. When designing a home
gained their energy conservation credentials
conserve heat when shut and allow natural
it is also important to consider how the building
by virtue of airtight construction measures,
ventilation when open. Our homes are heated
is to be cooled, especially when large areas of
however super airtight homes may not
by state of the art gas technology and insulated
fenestration are a feature of the space, as these can
necessarily contribute to either sustainability
to an extremely high specification, in line with
cause significant solar gain during summer. Environ
or well-being. The lack of fresh air in these
current regulations. We believe this combination
homes make use of exterior shading methods to
buildings not only necessitates mechanical
will mean that your Environ home will be
filter incoming solar radiation, and windows are built
ventilation and heat recovery, which increases
economic to run, simple to heat and cool and
to offer the desired degree of ventilation, through
energy usage, but may also inadvertently lead
good for both you and the planet.
manual and sensor-controlled opening.
Underfloor heating is a very comfortable choice
equipment, paper and household cleaning
exchanger/cleaner system. An average family of
to heat a house being a radiant heat rather than
products emit gasses and other particles, known
four generates about ten litres of water as a result
a convected heat, particularly when each room
as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), into the
of their daily activities, and, if allowed to build
has individual climatic controls allowing a different
air within a building. Studies have shown that air
up inside the home, this can cause substantial
temperature in different zones.
inside can be five times as polluted as air outside,
problems including mould, mildew and increased
Gas and electric technologies — especially in
with VOC concentrations in winter being three
dust mite allergies. Environ’s focus on ventilation
the form of a fireplace in the main living spaces —
to four times higher than those in summer. High
and air circulation within the property works to
allow for rapid warming which can be combined
temperature and humidity levels inside a home
address these issues before they develop into
with window-based ventilation, to achieve a home
can also increase the occurrence and potency of
problems for home owners.
environment which is appropriate to you.
some pollutants. New buildings often contain the highest levels of VOC.
Indoor Air Quality
The effects of VOC on human health is difficult to monitor since they are not regarded as acutely
The increased use of devices which employ
Another factor which contributes to Environ’s
toxic, but thought to impact on well-being over an
wireless technology and mains electricity
belief in the importance of adequate ventilation
extended time period, during which exposure to
in the home can lead to the presence of
within the home is the issue of indoor air quality.
pollutants in other circumstances no doubt affects
electro smog inside buildings. Electro smog
an individual. VOC have been linked to nausea,
results from the invisible electromagnetic
square meters of fresh air per hour to support
dizziness, eye, nose and throat irritations, asthma,
radiation given off by devices such as cordless
healthy functioning. In many modern homes, the
headaches, loss of co-ordination, damage to the
phones and baby monitors, wireless routers,
level of air-tightness decreases the volume and
liver, kidneys, cardiovascular, reproductive and
mobile phones, laptops, games consoles and
quality of clean air that is available to occupants.
central nervous systems, and possibly even cancer.
microwaves, and is responsible for the condition
The average person needs approximately thirty
A well-ventilated home provides an
The risk to children from VOC is believed to
knowns as Electromagnetic Sensitivity (ES) or
oxygenated environment, which helps maintain
be higher. Whenever possible Environ chooses
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS). Again,
good blood circulation and keeps the mind fresh
products that avoid Volatile Organic Compounds.
there are few regulations governing electro smog
and active and skin clear and supple. Ventilation also aids in the removal of dust, dust mites
in the UK, however in Europe, this matter is taken
and condensation. Allergies to dust mites are
very seriously, especially with regard to house design. For example, in Sweden, 285,000 people,
significantly reduced when the relative humidity
Although no regulations exist in the UK
approximately three percent of the population,
inside a building is under 45%.
concerning humidity levels within homes, it is
are registered as ES and are awarded a disability
recommended that relative humidity be kept
benefit from the government.
Ventilation is also key in the removal of pollutants from the home. Construction materials
below fifty percent and bathrooms, kitchens and
ES symptoms may be manifested over a short
such as MDF, paints, furniture, carpets, office
tumble driers be vented to outside or via a heat
or long time period, and can include headaches,
sleep disruption, chronic fatigue, skin complaints, depression, hypersensitivity and altered behaviour patterns in children. Research shows that between three and five percent of the general population in the UK could be affected by ES. Environ seeks to mitigate electro smog through the installation of CAT-6 wiring for internet connections, which prevent radio waves from being emitted outside of the cabling system.
Intelligent House Environ endeavours to integrate the latest home technologies as they change and become available. Increasingly, building management systems will allow many tasks around the home to be controlled remotely â€” security can be monitored from a beach in the Seychelles using a smart phone and lighting can be set using a digital pad to achieve a certain mood without having to get off the sofa. Environ homes feature plenty of wellplaced electrical sockets in each room, so your appliances can go where you do.
Safety & Mobility As we age, balance can start to be adversely affected. It is estimated that around thirty percent of people aged over sixty-five lose balance and fall each year, with many of these
Lacuna, Kings Hill
Freshford Mill, Freshford
Kings Hill Park, Kings Hill
Lacuna, Kings Hill
The Manor, Kings Hill
Keepers Court, Kings Hill
Conyer Quay, Sittingbourne
accidents occurring in the home. Environâ€™s houses are designed to minimise the occurrence of falls in a number of ways. Slippery or highly polished floor surfaces are
intercoms, which enable a visitor to be identified before opening the door, and outdoor lights are on sensors. In some cases, garage doors and gates to the property will be automatic.
avoided, with non-slip tiles preferred. Where floor surfaces transition between materials, such as
Ease of Maintenance
wood and carpet, we seek to ensure that these are at the same level. This applies to thresholds both inside and
Although no Environ home is the same, maintenance considerations are always high on
outside the house. We also endeavour to provide
our list of priorities. Some houses are designed to
sufficient storage areas to decrease the incidence
be almost totally maintenance-free, with powder-
of clutter which can be a trip hazard.
coated aluminium windows, brick, composite
With age, it can take longer for eyes to adjust to
cladding and galvanised gutters. Other homes
differences in light levels between spaces, which
feature natural materials to achieve a particular
can lead to problems when walking into or through
character, and therefore need a slightly higher
a house at night. Poor depth perception can also
degree of maintenance. These properties are
be an issue if an area is not well lit. Stairs are an
created with safe and easy maintenance in mind.
especially problematic location in this respect, and Environ seeks to mitigate risk by installing low
level lighting to each stair tread and introducing wherever possible a roof light, and a wider than
Care is always taken to ensure that our homes are
normal stair case or half-landing between floors.
a peaceful retreat. Noise transference from outside
Bathrooms are another notorious place for falls
is blocked by the double or treble glazed windows
to happen â€” our designs implement a number of
and the density of the building. Similarly, the floor
innovative and subtle features to combat this.
structure is designed to prevent noise from being conducted inside, and wall insulation and dense
internal doors help to ensure quiet, private spaces.
Security is of the utmost importance to Environ.
Exterior doors normally have a treble bolt security system and all houses are fitted with a burglar
The ideal home maintains the versatility to adapt to
alarm. Most scheme specifications include
the changing needs of itsâ€™ occupants. Sometimes
Keepers Court, Kings Hill
we need big, open spaces to host a party, while
rooms as possible into a small space. Houses
provides a space for family and friends to gather
on other occasions, we seek a cosy nook in which
are often believed to be better value when they
and enjoy life.
to curl up and read a book. Environ homes allow
contain more rooms, however this can come at
flexible use of space through the installation of
the price of a reduced standard of living. Environ
ceiling pocket doors, which disappear into the wall
believes that the quality of the space inside a
when open space is called for, and easily slide shut
home is more important than the number of
Environ houses are fitted with a range of storage
when more privacy is required.
rooms it contains. Space considerations are
solutions to decrease clutter and increase the
especially pertinent for those downsizing, since
efficiency and enjoyment of your space. Built-in
these people generally desire less bedrooms
closets and wardrobes feature floor to ceiling
but still expect sufficient living space. In the
doors which enable the full interior to be furnished
Homes should be comfortable, spacious and
USA, downsizing is seen as a positive move,
with rails, shelves and drawers, allowing maximum
functional. Often such parameters are ignored in
an opportunity to create a home to a higher
storage with minimum mess. Storage walls,
the UK, with the focus being on fitting as many
specification but in a smaller package which
bookcases, bathroom cabinets, a utility room and
a carport with storage pod for bicycles and garden equipment are all standard features of our homes.
Bathrooms Environ bathrooms provide a luxurious environment in which to relax and pamper oneself. Italian tiles and ample mirrors ensure that our bathrooms are light and airy, and double basins, walk-in showers and free-standing bath tubs invite you to slow down and indulge. The provision of storage spaces such as cupboards and ladder towel rails means that your bathroom will remain a calm, uncluttered space.
Kitchens Environ kitchens are designed to be at the heart of the home; an area in which to gather, relax and create. Our Cordon Bleu advisor ensures that the kitchen is highly functional, with the most efficient use of space possible. The room is split into zones such as consumable storage, nonconsumable storage, food preparation, cooking and cleaning. Features can include quartz worktops, double bowl sink, hot tap, pop-up sockets, wine rack, bookshelves, tray space, recycling bins and a coffee making area which can be hidden out of sight. Appliances may include a French or American style fridge/freezer or integrated fridge/freezer unit, induction hob, electric ovens, microwave or steam oven and a wine cooler. In the majority of cases,
seating is provided around the main island unit, providing the perfect opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine while discussing the dayâ€™s activities.
Work Area It is now common for us to bring our business home, and many people choose to work from home for at least part of the week. Even those who are retired often continue to act as consultants. If space allows, a dedicated study will be provided, however if this is not possible, the design will identify a work area which serves the same purpose. For instance, a space under the stairs can be fitted out as an office with doors to hide from view when not in use.
Interior Decor Environ works hard to craft a stunning light and airy interior in our homes. Key features include white Shaker-style doors with matching architraves and skirtings, Italian door furniture and radius hinges in polished chrome and crisp white walls and ceilings. Oak flooring is fitted to many of the living areas, with soft-shaded carpeting to bedrooms and Italian tiles to bathrooms. Some feature walls are panelled and staircases vary between solid and open tread. We always carefully co-ordinate the colours of flooring, tiles and kitchen areas to ensure a seamless appearance.
Keepers Court, Kings Hill
Turn-Key Our homes are designed fully ready for you to move in and unpack. Bathroom cabinets, mirrors, soap dishes, coat hooks, door mats, racking and shelving in wardrobes, bookcases, shaker peg rails and cutlery inserts are all provided to make you instantly feel at home. Oaks Hamlet, Kings Hill
Outside Space All our homes maximise on exterior views, using large windows to frame the landscape which allows residents to experience the outdoors inside, enjoy the changing seasons and benefit from the enhanced well-being associated with natural elements and light. Environâ€™s landscape designer creates gardens which are complementary to their setting, be they formal or informal, wild flower or parterre. Communal spaces between buildings may include vegetable
Oaks Hamlet, Kings Hill
gardens, orchards, butterfly gardens, ponds, lakes, bog and water gardens, woodlands and prairie planting. Wildlife is encouraged and celebrated through the provision of habitats, and we like to think that our homes become part of a much wider ecosystem.
The Room Outside At Environ, we truly believe that the garden is an extra room, forming part of the home.
Built-in garden seating
Our gardens are lovingly crafted to provide a
waste recycling area, and a clothes drying
functional, low-maintenance and sustainable
facility. Plantings are selected to thrive in the
space in which to unwind, play and appreciate the
increasingly unpredictable British climate, with
beauty of nature.
drought-resistant species favoured, as they
In order to invite maximum use of the garden,
perform well even in times of water restriction.
Environ homes are designed to have easy
Gravel and paving are often selected in place of
access to the outside, with beautiful Domus
large expanses of lawn, in order to minimise the
tiles flowing from interior to exterior, and a
need for watering in the garden, and cut down
series of transitional spaces such as porches,
on the use of costly and unsustainable fossil fuels
verandahs and balconies which tempt residents
to mow the grass. Less lawn area also means
out of doors.
less mud when heavy rain is forecast. In some
As we see at Chelsea Flower Show every year, small gardens are often very beautiful, and in the
gardens, vertical planters are installed, which hold summer salads and herbs.
UK, space is often at a premium. We believe in
The best thing about an Environ garden is
creating highly functional small gardens which
that they are very low maintenance. With your
allow ample room for beauty. Environ gardens
own individual pruning guide provided on
feature lush planting and splashes of colour
handover, all you need is some secateurs to
throughout the year, raised beds, comfy seating,
convince your envious friends that you have
a tap, lighting, electrical sockets and storage
green fingers! We believe our gardens provide
solutions for toys, games and seat cushions. Our
a delightfully therapeutic space to enjoy nature
gardens can be customised to your requirements,
with a glass in hand.
Freshford Mill, Freshford
with a wide range of options to choose from including outdoor sculptures, mirrors, shade sails,
barbecues and fire pits. The room outside is always created with children in mind, and provides
Environ homes are designed to have their own
a safe, fun environment for the next generation to
individual character, however purchasers have
play and learn. Environâ€™s gardens are equally well-
the ability to further customise their dwelling
equipped to provide a sophisticated entertainment
through choosing from a range of options, some
and outdoor dining space.
of which are included in the house price, while
Environ is committed to sustainability and
others are extra. Options available will vary by
gardens are often furnished with water butts
scheme dependent on the standard specification
to collect rainwater for irrigation, a screened
of that particular scheme.
Lacuna, Kings Hill
Oaks Hamlet, Kings Hill
01225 864429 | email@example.com