Grand Designs TV Houses

by Gemma Parkes

December 04, 2017

RIBA House of the Year 2017 winner: 5 design ideas from Caring Wood

Steal these innovative designs ideas from this contemporary English country house Photo credit: James Morris Built over 1400 sqm of Kent countryside, Caring Wood is…

Sustainable, stylish and affordable, Gregory Kewish and Rebecca Sturrock’s innovative timber build was a hit with Grand Designs viewers. We catch up with Gregory to learn how the family’s home has evolved.

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'Filming took place in summer 2014 and we have been living happily in our new house for a year now, but I wouldn’t say it’s 100 per cent complete – we are always tweaking things. Rebecca and I love this space, which has been transformed from an unassuming single-storey, one-bedroom cottage into a home with enough room for our family.'

‘Working with a material that’s relatively new to the UK’s housebuilding industry was probably the biggest challenge. We used cross-laminated timber (CLT) to create the design we wanted – a healthy, breathable home with large, open spans. I am surprised by how little the technique is used in this country as it’s so integral to the way homes are delivered in Scandinavia and Germany. It was sometimes hard to gather enough information or find specialist help with the on-site workings of CLT; there is a shortage of knowledgeable professionals, simply because the material isn’t popular here yet. This will change in the future when uptake and demand is greater.'

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‘It was extremely important to us to create an efficient, low-energy home, and we’ve achieved this. The walls, floor and roof are packed with insulation and our central heating is just a wood-burning stove. This keeps the main living areas and mezzanines lovely and warm, but I think that the lower level, where the bedrooms are located, may benefit from underfloor heating, which will be installed over the next year.'

'All our hot water is generated using a single solar dynamic panel – it’s been a brilliant investment. Even in the middle of winter it works efficiently and costs only pennies to run. In fact, Kevin McCloud has talked about the product as one of his green heroes in Grand Designs magazine. It’s such a simple piece of kit, measuring 180x80cm, and just millimetres thick. In basic terms, it utilises the technology of a heat pump, but in panel form. It has the capacity to be linked to underfloor heating, too.'

Kevin McCloud on how our homes give us the chance to reflect and have new experiences

Our editor-at-large ponders how our homes can give us a chance to reflect and have new experiences.
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Grand Designs TV Houses

A timber-clad hillside self-build

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Grand Designs TV Houses

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Grand Designs TV Houses

TV House exclusive: Transformed Seventies bungalow on the Isle of Wight

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Grand Designs TV Houses

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Grand Designs TV Houses

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