We are excited to announce that the build is now complete and our client has moved into her very own "Hobbit House" (pictures below).
Space on site was tight. The existing access was fixed and with the development boundary not encompassing the entire site the area for development was limited. With careful management of space, we created a compact but comfortable single-storey dwelling that feels bigger than it looks. The roof pitch of 9 degrees retains a low ridge height (3.3m) and the hedges surrounding the site are high, keeping this new development low-impact (as seen in the image "from the road" below). The offset ridge was mainly for construction purposes, aligning with internal walls to decrease the span of the ridge beam.
As the site is located over 30m from the nearest mains drain, a non-mains drainage strategy was required. The client opted for a composting toilet which separates out the solids and liquids. To deal with the solid waste a hot bin composter will be utilized and liquids/greywater are going to be treated in the WHALE system (Water from Households Above-ground Living Eco system) which works in a similar way to a reed bed system. The WHALE system is designed to clean and purify greywater, which comes from sinks, dishwashers, washing machines and showers etc. in a typical household situation. It uses specially selected plants to organically remove the micro-organisms and pollution from the wastewater to supply clean non-potable water for use in watering plants and washing cars, clothes and dishes. Once the greywater is purified, the collection tank will hold up to 180 litres in a greenwater tank with the overflow from this connecting to the soakaway.
The scheme also utilizes SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) construction. Structurally insulated panels contribute to code for sustainable homes with excellent thermal performance, air tightness, and limited cold bridging. It also has passive slab foundations (Insulated Foundations), non-mains gas, rainwater harvesting, Heat Recovery Ventilation (breather window) and a wood burner.
Oak sleepers have been used to create retaining walls around the site, while the dwelling itself is clad in vertical, board on board, green oak.