A family of four wanted to combine a barn style aesthetic with high levels of energy efficiency with their energy efficient new-build barn style house.

Almost completed, the project is looking really good now. It is lovely to see the barn style ideas that we worked on with the client realised and the ‘barn’ sitting well in its context. The landscaping design is yet to be finished and that will further improve how the barn sits in it’s surroundings.

Energy efficient dwelling

The project is a new-build two-storey dwelling and detached garage built on the site of an existing bungalow in a very poor state of repair. The house achieves very high energy standards, close to Passivhaus, and utilises an MVHR system as well as an air-source heat pump and rainwater harvesting.

The builders and other trades have been utterly brilliant and very easy to work with, producing very good quality work. The stone work is particularly lovely. In addition Green Building Store have provided an excellent MVHR design and very useful consultancy on airtightness/energy efficiency and build-ability. Paul Jennings of Encraft carried out the airtightness testing to satisfy the SAP requirements and to ensure the MVHR system works efficiently. MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) brings in fresh air from the outside, warming it using the warm stale air going out, saving energy and providing a very healthy and ventilated building. This is particularly important to the client who has asthma. Research has shown that asthma symptoms are vastly improved in homes using MVHR.

Contemporary Vernacular Barn Style Dwelling

The new building is a barn-style home to fit into its rural surroundings, using materials that reflect those used in local buildings. Local ironstone is used for the walls, slate tiles for the roofs, and the single-storey extensions at the back of the building are clad in timber.  The walls are highly insulated –  475mm thick with a 250mm cavity.  This, combined with the heat recovery system, means the client will save on their energy bills and stay comfortable throughout the year.

Large upstairs windows on the gable ends provide views of the countryside to the North and South, while the kitchen and sitting room look out onto the long garden at the back of the house.  The positions of the openings and pitch of the roof are inspired by those of a barn.  The kitchen and sitting room look to the East and benefit from the morning sun.


Showing aerial views and interior views of the finished home.