In essence this project entails the construction of a highly energy efficient, environmentally considered home. The ambition is that it will be a quality piece of contemporary architecture that is enjoyable and easy to live in.
The project emerged from a family conversation as to how we were going to manage my parents’ situation as they move, gracefully, into old age. They love where they live – an old Farmhouse in rural Northumberland on the outskirts of the National Park. But the house as beautiful as it is, is too large, difficult to heat, and not really practical for old aged living. A review of the local property market revealed little that met my parents’ needs – somewhere attractive, accessible, and environmentally sound. As a solution to this the idea emerged of exploring the option of self-building. The old farmyard behind the farmhouse is a large, not altogether attractive area, dominated as it is by a large, aging, concrete portal frame barn, which is largely redundant given the now residential nature of the property and seemed ripe for re-development.
With the support of a passionate local architect, employed after a competitive interview process, we have settled on a design we are really pleased with. It’s a positive addition to the small group of houses that surround the old farmhouse. It takes advantage of an unused single stone barn that makes up the eastern wall of the walled garden of the farmhouse, with a two storey new-build section that returns around the northern wall of the walled garden. This blog aims to catalogue the process of delivering this building and ensuring it is as sustainable as possible.