Situated on top of a stunning cliff over-looking Lewes, this project is the constructed off the foundations of an existing 1950’s dwelling that unfortunately had come to the end of its viable life. BBM’s brief was to create a flexible contemporary sustainable home for our clients and their expanding family. With a mutual commitment to the environment both architect and client have ensured that this project has one of the smallest ‘ecological footprints’ or negative burden on the natural environment.
This is achieved by using locally sourced timber for the frame of the building as well as over 60% of the external cladding. Timber is either left untreated (cladding) or treated with a non-toxic borax product (the frame). Areas not clad in sweet chestnut are clad in lime render on timber fibre-board insulation made from waste timber stuck together with the resin from the timber itself.
Solar panels support underfloor heating. Insulation levels are 75% better than Building Regulations recommendations. Rainwater is harvested for flushing wc’s, washing machine and water the garden. The design mixes exposed heavy-weight materials with ‘thermal mass’ with the lightweight timber frame, to naturally temper the well insulated internal environment. The section (see below) through the main living room and bedrooms above ensures shading from the sun in summer to avoid over heating.
The building is an attempt by BBM to describe a contemporary vernacular architectural language reflecting the locale as well as issues of how to existing in a more sustainable manner.