Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Design...


… is the key to creating the home that we want. The benefits that this site has to offer are obvious – south facing looking over Willow Vale and the River Frome. The existing retaining wall, built from the previous scheme is a financial bonus and sets out a base for the design. There are limiting factors that are self imposed. We have a very limited financial budget so the design needs to be very cost effective. The Code for Sustainable Homes has turned out to be quite a limiting factor due to the fact we are going for the top level 6. Although it is a good design guide, to get the required credits we have been limited to the materials we can use, amounts of glazing, layout rules to achieve and having to use a lot of PV panels.


The obvious thing for the design is to create a wonderful living space that makes the most of the southerly aspect and its views. To do this we plan to create an open plan living arrangement that is highly glazed. To help create the feeling of size and space we will make a large opening of bi-folding doors out onto a spacious balcony, which overlooks the lower lawn, the vale and river. By having an open roof design we hope the space will feel bigger and more spectacular. With the retaining wall already in place creating a lower ground floor level, this suits the bedrooms due to its quieter nature. This leaves the upstairs at entrance level to allow the living space to utilise the sunlight and views.


The location and the size of the house leave us a lower garden and a courtyard / upper garden level for car parking, workshop, working garden and relaxation area.


The base design is relatively straightforward, the main challenge is the layout of the house to make sure we have the spaces we want as well as making it function in the way we want to live. 

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