LEATHWAITE were passionate about creating this new contemporary home which combines exceptional design with low energy sustainable construction resulting in an ‘A’ – 96 Energy Efficiency rating. Completed in 2017 Skyridge is a unique house which has delivered against the design challenge of building a new home in the heart of the sensitive Surrey Hills greenbelt, and has provided an exciting addition to the diverse character of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The relationship of the house to the land minimises the impact of the house on the landscape whilst maximising the amazing position for the occupants. The design offers impressive views onto the site and beyond which along with the partially sunken nature of the building provides a feeling of connection with the landscape. The internal space and high standard of finishes would alone afford great merit, but combined with the bold architectural design, sensitive and creative positioning within an incredible landscape, the sustainable construction approach and ‘A rated’ low energy performance Skyridge is an amazing new home.
The project received a Guildford Design Award and was Commended for it’s Environmental Sustainability, was Regional Finalist for the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2018 and received a Highly Commended Award at the INCA 2018 Awards.
The new contemporary low energy home sits partially submerged into the land. Creating the impression from a distance and surrounding land that it is a single storey structure with the roof line no higher than that of the previous office and greenhouses. The external finishes were selected to help the building blend into the surrounding trees and habitat further reducing the visual impact.
Exceptional living accommodation
The accommodation is arranged with the kitchen, lounge and other living areas on the upper floor of the home, providing spectacular views across the site and beyond. A terrace to the side and balcony at the front of the home are accessed through large sliding glass doors. The master suite, other bedrooms (all en-suite) are located on the lower floor, along with study, utility room, wine store, gym, garage and plant room.
FSC Certified timber cladding is used on the upper floor including a factory coating with a 15 year warranty. The lower floor uses a patented render system which has the ability to reflect the infrared part of the light spectrum. By doing so a 40% higher Total Solar Reflectance can reduce the surface temperature of the render by up to 15 degrees Celsius, enabling the use of dark coloured render. The dark external finishes were chosen primarily to help the building blend into it’s surroundings but also to create a striking and dramatic effect which adds to visual drama of the home. The house received a Highly Commended Award at the INCA Awards in 2018 for it’s use of innovative external finishes.
The contemporary design of the building provides flat roof areas where solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are discreetly installed and positioned to maximise the generation of electricity. In conjunction with the solar PV panels and inverters a Tesla Powerwall is installed which maximises the usage of energy generated by the solar panels. During the day electricity is generated and any excess energy above the demand of the home is stored in the Tesla Powerwall for use later in the day as demand is required. The home is connected to the Grid and can export any energy not used or stored.
Italian Designer Kitchen
Bespoke Italian Designer Kitchen with moulded Corian work surfaces and sinks. Appliance specification includes Miele, Liebherr, Grohe and Quooker.
‘Passive House’ Windows and Doors
Internorm ‘Passive House’ triple glazed windows and sliding doors are integral to the ‘fabric first’ approach to construction.
The rural two acre site had become overgrown as the landscape nursery became redundant and a planning condition was to return the land outside the building curtilage to wild meadow. In order to manage the land we enlisted the help of six Saddleback piglets who lived on the site during the build. As they were moved around the land, in addition to eating the overgrown plants and weeds, they also naturally rotovated the soil ready for re-seeding the meadow. They did an amazing job, were great fun and the highlight for most site visitors!
Sustainable Drainage and Water Treatment System
The new home is supported by a Sustainable Drainage and Water Treatment System. The system includes: rain/storm water attenuation (utilising the AquaCells pictured); a rainwater harvesting system with recovered water used for the landscaped and planted area; and a wastewater treatment plant that harnesses natural processes for effective sewage and wastewater treatment. The treatment plant does not need emptying like a traditional septic tank, but instead treats waste using natural processes and produces water that is safe to feed into a second water attenuation system. The whole system operates independently from public sewers or watercourses and requires only annual maintenance.
Handmade Oak Staircase
Bespoke FSC certified Oak Staircase, hand made locally, sits within striking double height atrium with 6m high glass curtain wall providing amazing views across site and beyond.
Bespoke Italian Designer Dressing Room for Master-Suite
Loxone Smart Home
Smart Control and Automation of internal and external Lighting, Access, Entry, Security, Heating, Ventilation, music and AV.
400kg Stannah Platform Lift providing full accessibility to house for all.