David and Gill’s offsite manufactured sustainable home

David and Gill made the decision to realise their sustainable self-build dream right by their existing home on a conservation site in Hertfordshire. The triangular plot they purchased held a dated bungalow with an awkward footprint, which the couple’s new home, being a replacement dwelling, had to strictly follow. Rising to the challenge, they began work on their low-carbon home based on the high-tech sustainable design put forward by friend and award-winning architect Richard Mitzman of MCMa Architects.

The result of David and Gill’s efforts is a striking timber-framed house inspired by innovation and sustainability. The build’s sloping roof is a clear example of this inspiration, doing much more than simply keeping out the weather: it holds Flextron photo voltaic panels for power generation and a layer of sedum that provides a habitat to wildlife and blends into the surrounding countryside.

Inside, the flooring is 100% recyclable and made from at least 40% recycled materials. The walls are formed by structural insulated panels (SIPs) which are manufactured off-site and offer remarkable insulation and airtightness.

This Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) feature was recognised at the Build It Awards 2020, where the project won ‘Best SIP Home’. ­­­­­­

The house is heated using an air source heat pump (ASHP), whilst a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system (MVHR) ensures a constant through-flow of air. Thanks to these technologies, the couple can enjoy the low running costs of their EPC A home with a SAP rating of 97, a much higher score than they originally anticipated.

David and Gill love their new low-carbon home, spacious enough to accommodate their whole extended family in the kitchen/ dining room and enjoy the fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.

Choosing Ecology was a simple decision for them: “…they were the only lender that put a positive value on the ecological benefits the design of our house incorporated”.

All photography kindly provided by Richard Chivers.

Find out more about Ecology’s mortgages for self-builds.