This scheme for a unique Paragraph 79 house set in a small hamlet of houses on a low hill, was designed to be carbon negative. It features a number of innovative and sustainable technologies. Located on the brow of a meadow in East Anglia and set into the hillside as a partial ring on plan, the design cleverly forms a part of the landscape.
The house maximises the solar gain to the South with access to the North featuring an integral extensive photovoltaic array (PV) wall which would generate most of the energy for the house. Designed to be off-grid, the scheme features battery storage and is designed to operate on a 12-volt system. Drainage is to a reedbed system with two dedicated ponds which also allow increased biodiversity on the site. Its circular form allows the creation of a courtyard to facilitate the collection of rainwater and gives the basis for a unique design very much developed for and based upon the specific site.
An important feature of the design was the reconstruction of the landscape and the restoration of the natural meadow with indigenous hedgerow. The landscape in this area has been allowed to degrade with the change in farming practises. In cases like this, action is needed to manage the area and ensure the indigenous grasses and plants come through, rather than the invasive species.
We always aim to work closely to the spirit of the Planning rules in respect of Paragraph 79 dwellings but sadly on this occasion, the Planners deemed this scheme as not enhancing the site to the levels expected. As Paragraph 79 criteria are open to interpretation by the individual, the outcome is by no means certain and is often very subjective.
Mundham Eco House
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