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Alfie
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@Alfie interesting design with all those curves. 
 

Is that going to be a glass wall all the way from the dining area to the master bedroom? If so that will look pretty funky but could lead to severe overheating (and maybe occasional blushes as curtains are pulled back). 
 

Placing furniture could be problematic, especially wardrobes in Beds 1, 2 and 3. 
 

Looking forward to seeing more drawings. 
 

Good luck with the project. 👍

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17 minutes ago, Russdl said:

@Alfie interesting design with all those curves. 
 

Is that going to be a glass wall all the way from the dining area to the master bedroom? If so that will look pretty funky but could lead to severe overheating (and maybe occasional blushes as curtains are pulled back). 

 

The curves are more on the "design" side in order to meet the P80 criteria - a tradeoff between something that *might* actually pass planning, something we could live in and cost. All/most of it to be glass, it will look out onto the lawn/patio area and longer term it means we will be able to see the kids/dogs from most places in the house. The plan is to have some form of canopy type thing that should keep the house at a specific temperature year round, the architect is doing the calcs.

 

The house will sit within a 13 acre field where parts will still be farmed, part will be wildflower meadows/ecology specific plants/ponds and part will be usable outdoor living space.

 

19 minutes ago, Russdl said:

Placing furniture could be problematic, especially wardrobes in Beds 1, 2 and 3. 

 

Again, a concern and something that we will be drilling down on tomorrow. Personally I feel that all the en-suites might be overkill and we would be better of utilising that space for wardrobes/living space for the kids and having a family bathroom elsewhere in the build.

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6 minutes ago, Alfie said:

longer term it means we will be able to see the kids/dogs from most places in the house

I assume you have 3 kids? if not, why the need for 4 bedrooms with a 5th (which I presume is a guest suite) elsewhere?

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23 minutes ago, Thorfun said:

I assume you have 3 kids? if not, why the need for 4 bedrooms with a 5th (which I presume is a guest suite) elsewhere?

 

Both early 30's so zero kids so far, but that's the plan.

 

We need two offices and have close family/friends living abroad who will visit often. The thought process is it's better to build it in one go, rather than tack on additional space when needed in several years time.

 

10 minutes ago, Mr Punter said:

About 10 years ago we did a big bungalow with a drum shape at one end.  Timber frame.

 

Another member on here has done a big curved house in blockwork.

 

Super interesting - will check this out, thank you.

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42 minutes ago, Alfie said:

 

Both early 30's so zero kids so far, but that's the plan.

 

We need two offices and have close family/friends living abroad who will visit often. The thought process is it's better to build it in one go, rather than tack on additional space when needed in several years time.

 

 

Super interesting - will check this out, thank you.

ok, so I understand the 2 x offices then. I was just thinking that people build 4/5/6 bed houses when, in reality, they only really need 3! and with your thoughts on number of en-suites etc I thought you could ditch one of the bedrooms and make more space for a family bathroom for what would be the other 2 bedrooms in the main house and still have the guest suite in the other building.

 

we have 3 bedrooms in the main house as we have 2 kids. we have another room above the garage that could be a guest suite if required and so didn't see the reason of having a 4th bedroom in the main house that's rarely used when that space could be used to make the bedrooms that will be used a better and bigger space.

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Cool looking design, would be great to see this rendered in 3D.

 

I notice you don't have a plant room, where will your hot water tank, UFH manifolds, MVHR, etc live? You also don't have a utility, so when the washing machine or tumble dryer is on it's going to make that open plan area uncomfortable to be in.

 

As somebody with 3 kids already, I would also make the following comments on the layout:

 

- Ditch the en-suites in beds 1/2/3 and find a way to create a shared bathroom. They're great for teenagers but will be a nightmare for young kids who tend to get up to mischief when they're bored (like clogging the sink with toilet paper and leaving the taps running - ask me how I know!). You can always add the plumbing now for future proofing but you certainly won't need en-suites while you're using the rooms as offices and likely not until any kids that come along are over 10 yrs old either.

 

- By the same token, personally I wouldn't want my kids having doors leading outside from their bedrooms but I guess you can just keep them locked.

 

- The lounge looks a bit awkward to me and I suspect you'll spend most of your time in the TV room instead - this is big enough for now but perhaps a bit small for a growing family (specifically, getting enough sofa space in there with a good viewing angle might be tough). Kids also tend to have a lot of 'stuff' that ends up living in communal areas despite your best efforts to avoid it.

 

- Similarly, the dining area seems to be far too big for a couple - are you planning to have somewhere more cosy to sit when it's just the two of you at home? You only use a table for short periods a couple of times a day so, unless you're entertaining very regularly, I would look to reduce it's square footage somewhat (do you really need to seat 10 outside of special occasions?).

 

- I would also swap the WC and cloak room around, seems odd to have to navigate through the lounge area to fetch your coats and, again, you won't want kids with muddy shoes doing that later down the line.

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On 04/08/2021 at 10:51, shuff27 said:

I'm about to start in Hartwell 

 

I live in the new build opposite the Rose and Crown. 😊  PM me you want to hook up / trade experiences.  Terry

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6 hours ago, Alfie said:

Any thoughts on the layout would also be appreciated - the good and the bad!

 

Your bedrooms seem awfully constrained given the total wallspace.  Curves and none right-angles might look graceful on paper but are a total PITA when it comes to adding furniture / wardrobes / hanging space, etc.  Heating must be UFH (which is the best choice anyway) as you will have no available wallspace for rads. 

 

Why not space out BR1 & 2 with a separating double wall (only one side will need to be load bearing) and split this into 2 walk-in wardrobes for the two bedrooms?

 

OK, I see that you have a decent walk-in for the MBR, but nothing for BR 1-3 and this is especially the case given that you've got opposing doors creating round-bed access corridors.

 

This type of layout could work if you are only two occupants with three guestrooms for short stay visitors.  I see in another post that you are future proofing for a family. However no modern child, teenager or adult would be happy with this type of bedroom layout.  Where could they fit a desk / home office / hang a TV / bookcase?  What about privacy if their private space is accessible from both sides?  Yes, the BRs could be used as offices, but dual use (that is also usable for overnighting occasional guests) wouldn't work with this layout.

 

I strongly suggest that you get your architect to do a decent 3D realisation, dressed complete with a sensible selection of wardrobes, dressing tables etc, and you and your partner do a virtual in-room walkaround to see it it works in practice.

 

Also the thermal design is going to be bad; really bad.  I take it from the drawings that pretty much the entire south facing aspect is glass. (I say this because these clearly aren't solid walls.)  Even with modern triple glazed glass the U-values are going to be 0.8 W/m²K or worse in practice if you are going for bi-folds, so the house if going to be expensive to heat in the winter and you need to double-check UFH design limits.  In the the other seasons the house will turn into a hot-house.  Airtightness is also going to be a real issue.  So I feel that you are going to find it difficult to achieve current SAP requirements, let alone anything like passive class.

 

I also can't understand the rationale for the S facing hub layout.  It looks more like a circular bargraph than a clean arc.  What's with the glass rebates?  The rooms and the outside space and connexion to inside would work a lot better if the polygon formed at the meet of the room was more like a fit to a graceful circular arch.   The extra floor-space in the formed in these reentrants isn't really usable anyway, and will add significant to the construction costs.

 

What is the roof design and pitching?  What are your ridge lines going to look like?

 

I know this might seem harsh, but this plan looks to me like a concept that an inexperienced architect might come up without decent senior partner review.  I think that you are going to be horrified at the build cost.  If you want to go with this design, then I would suggest that you pay the extra $K or 2 to get a decent independent QS to give you an estimated low/medium/high total build cost before you go any further. 

 

You will also need to be really careful selection your builder and main suppliers.  This is an unusual design and will require truly experienced builders.  

Plan-s-A.thumb.jpg.94cc0370d759930a9443da3c0a866126.jpg 

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14 minutes ago, ETC said:

Even that (looks beautiful) but how comfortable are the spaces, really? You can see the sun blasting in to the place so I’m really dubious whether a SAP can really justify that anymore.

 

Curves don’t really work for rooms do they. Even non 90 degree angles will screw up something.


OP I’m really curious, how much did they charge you to design that concept? 

 

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13 hours ago, bgmill said:

Cool looking design, would be great to see this rendered in 3D.

 

I notice you don't have a plant room, where will your hot water tank, UFH manifolds, MVHR, etc live? You also don't have a utility, so when the washing machine or tumble dryer is on it's going to make that open plan area uncomfortable to be in.

 

This will be discussed today.

 

13 hours ago, bgmill said:

As somebody with 3 kids already, I would also make the following comments on the layout:

 

- Ditch the en-suites in beds 1/2/3 and find a way to create a shared bathroom. They're great for teenagers but will be a nightmare for young kids who tend to get up to mischief when they're bored (like clogging the sink with toilet paper and leaving the taps running - ask me how I know!). You can always add the plumbing now for future proofing but you certainly won't need en-suites while you're using the rooms as offices and likely not until any kids that come along are over 10 yrs old either.

 

- By the same token, personally I wouldn't want my kids having doors leading outside from their bedrooms but I guess you can just keep them locked.

 

- The lounge looks a bit awkward to me and I suspect you'll spend most of your time in the TV room instead - this is big enough for now but perhaps a bit small for a growing family (specifically, getting enough sofa space in there with a good viewing angle might be tough). Kids also tend to have a lot of 'stuff' that ends up living in communal areas despite your best efforts to avoid it.

 

- Similarly, the dining area seems to be far too big for a couple - are you planning to have somewhere more cosy to sit when it's just the two of you at home? You only use a table for short periods a couple of times a day so, unless you're entertaining very regularly, I would look to reduce it's square footage somewhat (do you really need to seat 10 outside of special occasions?).

 

- I would also swap the WC and cloak room around, seems odd to have to navigate through the lounge area to fetch your coats and, again, you won't want kids with muddy shoes doing that later down the line.

 

Thanks for the feedback. The plan is to ditch the en-suites and create a shared bathroom somewhere - we're flexible with the space and can make certain sections larger or smaller.

 

Great points on the lounge and dining room, definitely something we need to consider.

 

WC & cloak will be swapped, with the WC made smaller too.

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@TerryE, thanks for the detailed reply. I can bring up the more practical aspects (U-values, airtightness, thermal rating) tonight as this is something we haven't discussed in great detail yet. That said, given we're going for P80 this has been something we've been assured will be of the highest (within reason) standard.

 

I agree on the southern connection of all the rooms. I don't understand the need for the varying sections and would prefer one curved join.

 

We will definitely be involving a QS to ensure we remain within budget. 

 

Regarding the architect, far from being inexperienced they have a very strong track record of gaining approval (and more importantly building!) P80 (PPS7/P55/P79) houses. They have been featured several times on Grand Designs and have had several recent P80 approvals within our/and local planning departments. The whole process has been a tradeoff; what would the ideal house look like for us vs what would be approved given the site constraints, previous approvals and a knowledge of what the local planning department like.

 

Living on the site (close to family etc) is more important to us than the design of the house. We're having to make choices based on the result of the DRP (example being one story to due visual impact on the countryside) and whilst unorthodox bedrooms might not be my ideal, the tradeoff is having children grow up in a beautiful area close to family and friends.

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1 minute ago, Alfie said:

We're having to make choices based on the result of the DRP (example being one story to due visual impact on the countryside) and whilst unorthodox bedrooms might not be my ideal, the tradeoff is having children grow up in a beautiful area close to family and friends.

have you considered going down to create a basement? can put the utility/plant/gym/cinema/offices/guest bedroom etc below ground with light from light wells? could give you the extra rooms you want without compromising the visual impact on the countryside. and you could also make it rectangular below ground and no one would know! 😉 

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@ETC - thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it's not going to be to everyones liking but I hope my previous replies explain the rationale. Out of interest given you say it will be expensive, what would your estimate the cost be (per square metre)?

 

@CharlieKLP - I'll need to tally it up as the design has altered several times due to the continuing feedback received from the pre-app and DRP. Hoping to now drill down on the final design so will be in a position to answer rough costings in a couple of months.

 

@Thorfun - I've been toying with this idea too. I'm bringing this up today and will see what the ballpark addition cost could be. Does anyone have any idea of basement cost range for new builds?

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14 minutes ago, Alfie said:

I've been toying with this idea too. I'm bringing this up today and will see what the ballpark addition cost could be. Does anyone have any idea of basement cost range for new builds?

ours cost about £1200/£1300 per m2 but that is after deducting what it would've cost for the house foundations without a basement. it's a similar cost to @Bitpipe's basement as well. so, should be a good indicator. 🙂 

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19 hours ago, CharlieKLP said:

Even that (looks beautiful) but how comfortable are the spaces, really? You can see the sun blasting in to the place so I’m really dubious whether a SAP can really justify that anymore.

 

Curves don’t really work for rooms do they. Even non 90 degree angles will screw up something.


OP I’m really curious, how much did they charge you to design that concept? 

 

Watch the programme on Sky Arts.

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I think you could build a more rational and less expensive house - even with a few curves - that will also meet P80 (PPS7/P55/P79) standards. The spaces are practically un-useable and no matter what your agents tell you not only will you have trouble finding and fitting furniture but there will be a lot of useless space in the rooms.

 

Where you want to install fitted furniture it will be bespoke and expensive.

 

The bedrooms are tight and the amount of natural light into and views from many of the bedrooms will be negligible. 
 

You said living on the site is more important to us than the design of the house - if this is really true build a rectangle that will be inexpensive to build and living in. Forget about this design before it is too late and the bills keep coming and coming. If you need to build a house of exceptional design quality look at cheaper options.

 

As an aside what was the concept for this design and how did you get there. I am genuinely interested.

 

Thanks.

 

ETC.

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Alfie said:

Regarding the architect, far from being inexperienced they have a very strong track record of gaining approval (and more importantly building!) P80 (PPS7/P55/P79) houses. They have been featured several times on Grand Designs

Two comments on this

  1. What really matters isn't whether they've designed or even built passive houses, but that you visit examples personally and get the occupants to confirm that they perform to spec as built. Our house is the more boring variety but at least it performs within a 10% tramline of as designed.   I've come across examples where the as-built is off by factors not percentages.
  2. IIRC, the self-builders bible has a rule of thumb: the cheapest house has 4 corners and a simple tented roof.  Add 10% for each extra corner. Add 50% if you applying to Grand Designs; add 100% if you are selected to appear. 🤣

I repeat: get an independent QS to recost for as-built before to commit to anything!!

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I think the concept was to design something wacky to get permission, which I’m sort of ok with but it hasn’t helped your floor plan or you.

 

I find it really hard to get my selfbuilder customers to embrace the idea of concepts, because they are often too ‘efficient box’ orientated. 
 

The quality of the spaces is more important than anything, but having a concept can be such a beautiful thing to drive your design. A concept is what lifts something from a self build to a “grand design”, and I have done a design for that show. It wasn’t expensive, it was just, unique.

 

can be a simple as a view or some water, this is my favourite house just in case this helps someone get a spark. It doesn’t have to be a box to be efficient, and it doesn’t have to be a doodle turned into a house to be worthy of paragraph whatever-it-is.

 

image.jpeg.61b8d1c5f8f9387791faa47c44381e6f.jpeg

Edited by CharlieKLP
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