Article from FOCUS Magazine – Winter 14 issue.
Energy efficient homes are becoming more and more the norm, with buildings regulations becoming more exacting and a requirement from many house owners for lower bills
Some energy efficient homes are ultra-contemporary, others are more traditional with eco features. In Slinfold, West Sussex, Lodgecrest has built a stunning curved home with sedum roof, very high level of insulation throughout and specially imported A Rated double glazing. Part of the building is below ground and so it benefits from the natural consistent temperature of the ground. It also has low voltage LED lighting and an environmentally friendly sedum ‘living roof’. The building is also fitted with underfloor heating throughout and the water temperature required to run it is lower than is needed to heat by radiators. “Sedum benefits the environment as well as increasing the insulation to the house” says Martin Rohrs of Savills’ Guildford office.
On the lower floor there are four bedrooms, a laundry room, wine cellar, cinema and games room/gym. The windows on one side look over a large circular courtyard. The entrance, living room, kitchen, family room and office are on the upper floor. Subtle blue lighting from the bottom edge of the external curved walls produce a sense that the building is floating and there are also over 1,200 square feet of out-buildings.
The house stands in over 8 acres, with open panoramic views and lies at the end of a long single track drive. The grounds are level fields and paddocks, ideal for someone who wanted to keep horses or create a fabulous garden. Eclipse is on the market for £2.45 million.
Savills’ Windsor office is also selling another contemporary house in the popular village of Holyport, near Maidenhead. The property has recently undergone a four year refurbishment programme which has resulted in many improvements including full double-glazing, fully insulated floors and walls, an EPDM roof fitted over a Kingspan ‘warm’ roof system and new underfloor duct heating. It is tucked away behind double electrically operated gates and is one of three houses, designed in the 1960’s by renowned architects, Peter Foggo and David Thomas. Constructed from a steel frame with wood and floor to ceiling glass, the house has three bedrooms, drawing room, study, kitchen/breakfast/dining room and lovely gardens. The rooms are very light, airy and spacious and the property is on the market with a guide price of £1.295 million.
Keepers, in Shillinglee, West Sussex is a modern house with state-of-the-art environmental features, built with an incredible eye for detail and high specification. The property looks like a traditional period house, but the structure has been built from insulated concrete blocks for the walls and insulated concrete floors throughout. It has a grey-water rain harvesting system, under floor heating, air source heat pumps and a solar recovery system. It costs around £2,000 a year to run with the owners receiving a £1,800 a year back. Knight Frank’s Haslemere office is selling the house for £1.75 million.
Medmenham Court in Medmenham, Buckinghamshire is completely different – a 21st century contemporary country mansion in a riverside setting. This is a massive property of 32,000 square feet to be built in natural timber, glass and zinc with a green roof, designed to mitigate rain water discharge rates via its natural water retention, absorption properties and the effects of evaporation. Over the central section, there are a series of slender planes which provide overhangs for solar shading. These planes are ‘wing like’ and give the building a distinctive dynamic appearance. The building is orientated to optimise natural lighting and sun-pipes have also been incorporated. Heat and energy will be recovered and reused wherever possible to further reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. It lies in almost 50 acres and will have eight bedrooms, ballroom, orangery, gym, swimming pool and stables. Knight Frank’s Henley office is marketing this stunning property for offers in the region of £8 million.
Coomtata, a new house in Coombe Park, Kingston upon Thames, is far more traditional looking, but still has a wide range of energy efficient features including under floor heating, an air source heat pump which provides all the heating for the property and solar panels. This 12,000 square feet property has six bedroom suites, a triple oval atrium with sweeping staircase, games room and media room, indoor swimming pool, gym, separate staff accommodation and garaging. It is for sale through John D. Wood with a guide price of £8.95 million.
The same agent is also marketing Phelps House, a development of 13 energy efficient one and two bedroom apartments in a newly refurbished historic building in St Margaret’s, Twickenham. The development by Angle Property is in the former Phelps Furniture Showrooms and Auction House and will also have a food store, greengrocer and coffee shop on the ground floor, plus health club. The apartments have been designed to have low running costs with low energy LED lighting, an EcoDan air source heat pump system and electric underfloor heating in the bathrooms. Additionally whole house ventilation systems have also been installed. Prices range from £415,000 to £625,000, which includes a parking space.
Little Chalfont is the location for Octagon’s first house to be built in Buckinghamshire. Kingswood House is a super luxury six bedroom, five bathroom detached property, within walking distance of the shops and station. The house has a traditional exterior with sleek, contemporary interiors and features a triple height atrium and walnut and glass staircase. Energy efficient features include underfloor heating, an air extract ventilation system supported by air-source renewable energy heat pump technology and an energy conserving Quooker tap, which provides boiling water to order.
“People who are fortunate enough to be buying an Octagon home are just as interested in saving money as any first time buyer. They do not want to be needlessly paying giant energy bills, both for environmental as well as bank balance issues” says David Smith, group head of marketing.
“This is why we take a lot of time and trouble to ensure that energy consumption is kept to a minimum in our larger than average homes and certain features are now ‘standard’. As expected, our insulation levels are second to none, so rooms conserve either their heat or coolness, depending on the outside temperature”.
Lighting, which can be another energy sap, is 100% low energy lights throughout controlled by operation panels for each room and all the cloakrooms and bathrooms have sensored lighting, whereby when people enter the room, the light switches on automatically, and when they leave, switches itself off – saving electricity. “And our shower systems have aerated shower heads, resulting in lower water usage and a more enjoyable and effective shower” adds David.
The rooms to the rear of the house have French doors opening onto a deep rear paved terrace leading onto a 0.68 acre landscaped garden, there is a 35 feet playroom plumbed for a mini kitchen on the second floor and an adjoining triple garage with first floor accommodation, which could be used by staff or as office suite. Savills is selling the house for £3.95 million.
Another Octagon development is Crossacres, a stunning new 15,000 sq ft house with three floors of accommodation, all effortlessly accessed by a hi speed mirrored passenger lift. Sitting in a 2.3 superbly landscaped acre plot, the rear gardens’ centre piece is an ornamental swimming pool with retractable fountains. The 6 reception room, 7 bedroom, 7 bathroom detached property’s exterior design is classic, in stock red brick with extensive Bath stone dressings and front door portico, enhanced by full height custom made sash windows.
Ground floor reception space is grand with its 3.5m ceilings and beautifully proportioned, and includes gracious marble entrance hall with sweeping staircase, a study, a formal drawing room and dining room, and separate family TV room. The kitchen, a Stephen Clasper one off design, comes with Gaggenau built in appliances, a Quooker boiling/chilled water tap, large island bar and informal dining area.
On the first floor are five very substantial double bedrooms, all en suite, and four with walk in dressing rooms, the Master Suite with two walk in mirrored dressing rooms, and bookmatched marble bathroom.
The lower ground floor is where the second heated swimming pool is located, with a six person Jacuzzi spa, sauna and steam room, two changing rooms with showers, and a fully equipped gym. There is a cinema room with surround sound, a seriously equipped catering kitchen, large utility/laundry room with twin washers and dryers, and two staff suites, both with excellent high quality en suite shower rooms. The adjoining garage comfortably houses a fleet of up to 8 cars.
On the market at a price guide of £17.5 million Crossacres is available for viewing by appointment through appointed agents Knight Frank, telephone 01344 840 020 or view the website www.octagon.co.uk
Pembroke, in Pembroke Gardens, East Sheen, SW14, is an award winning contemporary development by Richstone Properties. This scheme has been awarded an Eco-Living Award for incorporating sustainability attributes from the start, rather than being bolt-on extras. The houses have efficient under floor heating and bask in natural light from the roof lights and large windows. David Rich-Jones, CEO of Richstone Properties comments “these larger than average homes, although luxurious, are also extremely energy efficient, delivering a Code 4 build”. Features include giant glass screened walk-in showers, solid wooden flooring and an ADT Fusion 1000N burglar alarm system. Just one property remains for sale, which Featherstone Leigh is selling for £1.975 million.
A communal quarter acre private meadow is part of the offer at Fairlawn, a development of just four 5/6 bedroom houses all with 4 bathrooms, on exclusive Warren Road, on the Coombe Hill Estate, south west London. Once a grand Victorian residence, Fairlawn has been skillfully converted into two substantial 5/6 bedroom houses. Bookending the conversion are two new 4/5 bedroom detached homes, with exteriors designed to reflect the same handsome period architectural detailing restored in the original building. The homes are fully wired for home entertainment systems including 3 Sonos streaming amplifiers connected to pre-fitted ceiling speakers to the kitchen/dining rooms, drawing rooms and master suites with surround sound media wiring installed in at least one of the main reception rooms and the media/bedroom 6 in the conversions. As well as the secure electronically operated entry gates, each house has a zoned security alarm system with external lighting to both front and rear of the properties. One home has already been sold, the remaining three are on the market at prices ranging from £2.5-£2.795 million. Viewing is through appointed agents Coombe Residential and Savills.