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Family project to build eco dream home
PLANNERS have given a family a chance to create an eco-friendly home that will be the first of its kind in Dorset.
Architect Sarah Pank, who goes under the professional name of Sarah Small, has designed a state-of-the-art eco-house for the plot where her family is currently living in Verlands Road in Preston, Weymouth.
After successfully achieving planning permission she and husband Jono are now one step closer to their dream home to live in with young children Erin, seven, and two-and-a-half-year-old Freddie.
The proposed two-storey house has been designed to Passivhaus standards, a rigorous German standard for energy efficiency, with an insulation that requires no heating.
There are only 26 certified Passive houses in the country, and it is believed this will be the first in Dorset.
Jono said: “We tried looking locally in Preston for a family house for several years, but unfortunately we couldn’t find any that were suitable.
“We then came across the bungalow, which doesn’t quite fit with our living requirements, but has a good size south facing garden and lovely sea views across the bay towards Portland.
“We thought we could do ‘something’ with it, so we bought it.”
After two years of feasibility studies with Sarah continuing to work on the designs, the family decided they would need to knock the bungalow down and rebuild.
Jono said: “It was then that we realised we could do something different and looked into the concept of building to the German Passivhaus standards, which are recognised as the best method to create comfortable, healthy low energy buildings.”
Passive houses involve building the external walls, floor and roof with large amounts of insulation and airtight so there is no heating requirement while fresh air is mechanically brought into the house and stale air taken out.
Sarah said: “Building a new home to the Passivhaus standards makes sense with the current rising energy bills.
“It will be amazing to have an annual gas bill of under £100.
“We are always conscious of how much we spend on heating the house. As an architect we need to look ahead and provide solutions for rising energy bills.”
The next stage for the family is to find a suitable local builder.
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