Work has commenced on a new three bedroom dwelling for private clients in Kersey. Wincer Kievenaar Architects Limited have worked closely with the clients to design and gain planning permission for their new home, and are now acting as contract administrators throughout the construction. The contractor is Heronbuild Limited and specialist sub-contractors Flight Timber have engineered and provided the structural timber frame solution to achieve high levels of thermal performance and airtightness.
Planning Permission was gained on 21st June 2016 for the dwelling adjacent to the built up area boundary of Kersey, under Policy CS11 of the Babergh Local Plan. This accepted that a small scale development could occur outside the settlement limits in order for Kersey to grow, and would be a site with a close functional relationship to the settlement. The proposal scheme put forward a new house situated in a location within the site which would be screened from view and maximise the number of existing fruit trees which could be preserved.
The Planning Officer’s report stated:
“It is considered that the proposals would present a modest size dwelling which has been carefully designed to have its own unique character, visual interest, yet blend in with the traditional materials, forms and scale of its surrounding environment.”
The design for the new house began with the concept of a long barn in the landscape; connected to, and facilitating life in all aspects of the surrounding smallholding and orchard. The intention is for the house to sit naturally within the existing site conditions and contours of the slight slope. The ground floor of the house is clad in Suffolk red brickwork while the more visible first floor is surrounded in vertical timber boarding. This will be allowed to weather to a natural grey. The roof will be finished in orange pantiles. These materials are synonymous with the Suffolk countryside and Kersey village. The house is conceived as a series of three elements, increasing in scale along the site. The first element encountered from the driveway is a single story block which widens half way along its length to form a south facing terrace area. The hipped roof rises to a balustrade height, concealing a balcony to the master bedroom. The chimney punctuates the single storey roof line at the mid point, and helps terminate the balcony.
Two larger 2-storey elements sit behind the single storey block, one in-line, while the second is shifted east. This allows space for a front door and helps break up the continuous ridge line. The house aims to achieve the highest levels of energy efficiency and lowest level of impact on the environment. It takes the approach that high insulation, high levels of thermal mass, good solar orientation and controlled passive and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, will ensure a building environment that stays comfortable at minimal energy cost.
Renewable technologies will be employed in the form of photovoltaic cells for electricity generation, a ground source heat pump for hot water and a log burner for additional comfort.
Materials will be locally sourced and specified to ensure they have low environmental impact (including embodied carbon) over the lifespan of a building. Rainwater will be harvested from the roots and stored to reduce the burden on mains water usage. The house will hope to integrate smart metering technology which can record the energy and water usage of the property. This can provide further feedback to ensure that the aftercare of the home is maximised and that future homes may benefit from the knowledge and data. The new home will help intertwine the owners maintenance of their smallholding with their family life. Integrated cold storage areas, processing / butchery areas and utility space will assist in the upkeep of the livestock and food production from the orchards and vegetable patches, maximising the efficiency of the site.
It is expected to be completed in March 2018.