The project at Number 10, Bucks Mills was completed in 2008 and is a template for ecological refurbishment of historic buildings. Key principles for the project included healthy building design, sustainable materials, a low energy fabric first approach supported by use of renewable technologies and an abundant surrounding landscape.
Renovation of the existing building maintained it’s historic integrity whilst allowing the building to breathe. Homotherm recycled newspaper insulation was used to provide between 150mm and 200mm of internal wall insulation. Solid floor insulation was installed and covered by a new screed and granite ground floor. The windows and doors were replaced with high performance triple glazing with wooden frames. Low energy lighting was used throughout. Hot water, cooking and heating was provided by a biomass wood burning Rayburn.
The new build extension is separated from the main building. It acts as a workshop, garage and home office and extends the building floor area by about 50%. The walls were super-insulated (300mm – 200mm internal Homotherm insulation with 100 EXP wall insulation either underground or cavity). The roof was insulated with internal Homotherm (newsprint in batten/slab form) to a thickess of 350mm, while 250mm EXP insulation was used for the solid ground floor. The solar thermal system comprises of 20 evacuated tubes and a thermal store. Heating for the new lounge was provided by an efficient wood burner.
The healthy building design included avoiding materials with volatile organic compounds, easily cleanable floors with no carpets and low emf electrical wiring. There was an edible landscape design based on permaculture principles with raised beds for herb, salad and fruit production.
A number of articles in magazines have been written about this project and it also featured in a Channel 4 programme.