Cotswolds passive house to merge prehistoric & avant garde efficiency

Cotswolds passive house to merge prehistoric & avant garde efficiency

In an ecological project that wil be groundbreaking in a literal and figurative sense, a highly unusual earth mound passive house has just gained planning permission in the Cotswolds.

IID Architects have obtained planning permission for the house. Clients Alex and Louise Baines were looking to develop a plot of agricultural land set in an area of outstanding natural beauty – as designated by Natural England on behalf of the UK government – in the heart of the Cotswolds as a new, partially earth sheltered, highly sustainable family home. Alex is a sustainability consultant with a passion to develop his own passive house and to use this as a long term research project.

The couple’s dream was for a highly sustainable family home which met the passive house standard and level six of the Code for Sustainable Homes. They wanted to use local materials in a contemporary design and ultimately settled on a partially earth sheltered solution which derived its form from the prehistoric long barrows – earth mound monuments dating to the early Neolithic period – which are characteristic of the area. Despite careful consultation with the local community and 40 letters of support from their neighbours, the project was recommended for refusal by the planning authority. The planning committee, however, voted 11 in favour with just 2 abstentions and no votes against. So against all the odds, this innovative and exciting project received planning consent on 18 February 2014. It is now progressing to detailed design, with a view to starting on site before the end of the year.

In addition to aiming for the passive house standard and code level six, the project will aim to achieve zero carbon energy usage, via a combination of air source heat pumps and solar photovoltaic panels to negate the polluting effect of primary energy-intensive electricity from the national grid.

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 August 2018 11:32