Echo Barn, Biddenden

Client: Private
Project: Construction of a 4-bed high performance, low energy-use house with an annex and a separate garage and store.
Location: Biddenden, Kent
Value: £932k
Project period: 32 weeks
Completed: Summer 2016
Architect: Hawkes Architecture

Echo Barn occupies a disused farmyard and sits as an example of stunning new technology amongst a cluster of traditional Kentish buildings.

This structure is externally clad with a mixture of Cedar battens and locally sourced Mathematical tiles, which create a brick effect, as well as a Zinc clad roof which also overlaps onto first floor walls. Large triple glazed powder coated aluminium windows dominate, particularly on the South facing elevation where they are shielded from the glare of the sun by a full height Brise Soleil screen. The Brise Soleil is continued on the East & West elevations to pull together the mixture of cladding styles. 

The North façade boasts a frameless glass box conservatory which allows the client to step into the garden without leaving the house. The Annex and the Garage create mirrored shapes on either side of the driveway and are clad with Cedar and Mathematical tiles to tie in with the house. The apex roofs of these structures are finished with clay tiles which were sourced from the same local craftsman as the other tiles used for the build. The apex shape of the main stepped roof is completed with the installation of Solar Thermal panels (PVT) mounted on A-frames.

The Timber Frame for Echo Barn was supplied pre-cut as a kit to be assembled. This enabled the building to go up quickly whilst still allowing for minor adjustments as the project progressed.

Internally, the ground floor is open plan and an Oak open-tread staircase with glass balustrades leads to a gallery along which three en-suite bedrooms are arranged. The bedrooms benefit from extra South-facing light through Clerestry windows which also allow access to the roof where the Solar Thermal panels are fixed. Oak flooring and Oak internal doors throughout pull the internal spaces together and the Annex, accessed from the main hallway, can be separated from the rest of the house, having its own kitchenette and bathroom. The ground floor has under floor heating which is fed by energy from the Earth Bank Energy system and the Solar Thermal panels.

Energy Efficient elements, which contribute to an EPC-rating of A99, include:

  • Triple glazed windows throughout, shaded by a Brise Soleil structure to the South elevation
  • The use of Steico Woodflex (Recycled timber) 300mm thick insulation to the walls and roof
  • An 8 kW Earth Bank Energy system
  • Under Floor Heating to the ground floor
  • Independent sewage treatment plant
  • Installation of a 7.2kW Solar Thermal system
  • An air-tightness value of 2.1 m³.h-¹.m-² @ 50 Pa

We are pleased to have worked with Hawkes Architecture on this project:

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