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Country House Nicholls

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Country House Nicholls

Cornwall | England
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1/3 - exterior view
Oliver Rehm
CEO Baufritz (UK) Ltd.
Oliver Rehm
"In March 2007, Baufritz began the construction of its very first carbon positive house in the UK. House Nicholls is a bespoke, timber-frame house with stunning views of the Cornwall coast. The three-bedroom house features a self contained basement, sun lounge and a beautiful terrace overlooking the sea. The house is highly energy efficient as it is built using environmentally friendly manufacturing methods and products. The combination of a wood stove, an Aga, solar panels and a bore-hole providing fresh spring water from beneath the house means that the house owners expect that their utility bills will be only a few hundred pounds per year."
 

House data

External Dimensions 13.26 x 8.85 m
Living Space 2132 ft²

Additional information

country House Nicholls

 

bespoke timber-frame house with stunning coastal views

 

"The construction was a fantastic sight to behold. After months of planning, it was great to see my new home take shape. The German workers were astonishingly efficient, no tea-break culture here, in fact once they had had breakfast, they didn't stop all day. I deliberately chose a German company to build my house as I know the quality is exceptionally high. My idea was to build a quite traditional looking house that embraced the latest in construction technology, which would make for a very energy efficient home. What appealed to me most about what Baufritz can offer is the flexibility of their design along with quite outstanding eco-credentials."
Andrew Nicholls

In March 2007, Baufritz began the construction of its very first carbon positive* house in the UK in the beautiful coastal village of Trevone Bay near Padstow in Cornwall. Despite the adverse weather conditions on site, (35 mile per hour winds, sleet and hail storms!) the German construction team still made excellent progress, completing the shell of the timber-frame house in just two and a half days.


House Nicholls is a bespoke timber-frame house with stunning coastal views. The house comprises a self-contained basement, sun lounge and a beautiful terrace overlooking the sea. The building encompasses around 305sqm of living space on a 0.6 ha plot. Owners, Andrew and Alison Nicholls, first demolished their holiday home they had owned for years, to make way for the new house, which has been designed and built to their own individual requirements. The house is highly energy efficient as it is built using environmentally friendly manufacturing methods and products. The combination of wood stove, Aga, solar panels and bore-hole providing fresh spring water from beneath the house means that the Nicholls expect that their utility bills will be only a few hundred pounds per year.

This house won 'Best Timber House' in the UK in the national Homebuilding & Renovating Awards in 2007.

The Exterior
The house is partially timber clad and partially clad in traditional reclaimed Cornish slate which Mr Nicholls salvaged himself from another project. The slate, which was used to form the SE façade of the building and the roof, helps to ensure that the building has a local character.

The roof is hipped to 33º with an eave height of 1.5 metres. There are three dormers to the front and one to the rear of the building. The front dormers are clad in slate and the rear ones are rendered.


The timber cladding is painted light grey, using environmentally friendly and vapour permeable coatings. The windows are double glazed with a timber frame that is painted antique white; the exterior sills are made from aluminium powder coated in white to match the frames.

 

The Interior
Inside, the ground floor comprises an open plan lounge and kitchen, which leads out to a beautiful sun terrace with sea views, a further sun lounge with a timber boarded ceiling; then there is the dining room,the study and downstairs WC. The solid oak staircase leads down to the basement lounge and hobbies room with sliding doors into a courtyard. Upstairs is a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, two further bedrooms and a family bathroom.
 
The inside window sills, are made from oak and spruce. In the lounge areas the windows are low and wide to create window seats from which to admire the incredible views. The internal doors are made from Canadian maple with stainless steel ironmongery and there are some glass doors, such as those that will lead from the lounge to the sun terrace. The skirting boards are made from solid spruce and oak. In the basement there are natural cork floors, with cottage-style tiles in the kitchen and organic sheep's wool carpets throughout the rest of the house.
 
The kitchen was supplied by local firm George Robinson Kitchens in Penzance. Like the rest of the house, the kitchen has strong ecological credentials, George Robinson Kitchens uses locally sourced wood wherever possible– supporting businesses in the area and helping to reduce the pollution caused by long distance haulage. The wood for the kitchen will come from suppliers who manage their forests responsibly.
 
THE UTILITIES
 
Electrics – Cat 5 data cabling.
 
Heating – a combination of a gas condensing boiler and approximately 6sqm of solar panels. To ensure that Mr Nicholls enjoys consistently good air quality and to save valuable heating energy through heat recovery, Baufritz installed 10 decentralised reverse fans (LTMs) with heat recovery in various locations throughout the house. These extract warm air from the room, passes it through the heat exchanger and the heat extracted from the air is stored in the unit. The fan changes direction and fresh air brought in from outside passes through the unit and is warmed by the stored heat before entering the room. In warm weather the effect is reversed, thus cooling the warmer outside air before it enters the house. The LTM units can be controlled from a central location, thus optimising performance. There is under-floor heating on the ground floor and in all the bathrooms. There are radiators in all the other rooms.
 
Water – When preparing the ground on site, Mr Nicholls discovered a natural spring running under the house. A borehole was installed to pump fresh spring water into the house to act as the main source for drinking water.
 
Central Vacuum Cleaning System – Baufritz installed "Saugfritz", a high performance house vacuum system. Central suction ensures the dust does not get circulated into the air. When compared with conventional vacuum systems, the filter system not only filters coarse dirt, but also a large proportion of the fine dust. The cleaned air is then vented to the outside of the building.
 
* Safeguarding our world has always been at the heart of the Baufritz philosophy. Because we will only use timber, install the best thermally efficient windows and because our construction process is so energy efficient our homes have earned the accolade "carbon positive": they lock away more CO2 than is emitted during their manufacture, transportation and construction.