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F0CUS

reallife

O Architect
Richard
Hawkes'design
fortheeco-house
heisbuilding
nearStaplehurst

A $anddesign
any of us try to do our bit for
the environment,but Richarc Architect
Richard Hawkes isnotsimply
concernedaboutwhathislatest
Hawkes is going that extra mile
- and a half.
design
willlooklike.Hisambitious
house project
building comes with
The Staplehqrstarchitect is impressive
environmentally-friendly
credentials.
Richard
tellsreporter
embarking on a property which, when finished,
will blend into its surroundings,haveno need
ANGELAC0LE about thebroaderissues
thatmotivatedhim
for central heating, and will havebeenalmost
entirely built from local or recycledmaterials. In fact, Richard had no vision ofthe kind of The form just followed the function. Then it was
It will evenhavea "living roof'with native househe might designwhen he and wife Sophie just a matter of how to build it and what from."
plants sourcedfrom Mar{en Nature Reserve, bought the plot in January2007. There had He adds:"If we'd boughtland on the otherside
underneathwhich will standa unique Timbrel previously beena bungalow on the site, owned ofthe road, for instance,the shapeofthe building
vault built from tiles madefrom clay dug up less by two elderly sisters.After buying the plot, it would havebeencompletely different. Every
than four miles awav. was a slow processfor Richard to work out the location has unique qualities, which require a
The project is as environmentallyfriendly as designofthe building to come.A 4am "Eureka!" unique solution."
possible,but it's not a ramantic ideal that he moment producedthe building's unique
The desigl has eventaken into accounthow
had long dreamtof. "arch" shape.
the building would be seenby passersby, but
"This is what architecturaldesign crucially, it neededto be sustainable.This meant
should be about," said Richard. designingit so that the south side, where there
"You get a site and respondto the will be large windows, will get the maximum
needsof the site. If I want amountof sunlight on winter days,passively
this building to belong heatingup the air in the building. The arch
; on this site, it must overhangsto shadethe glazing in the summer
effectively evolve when the sun'sheat is not required.
from the needsof the
A heat recovery ventilation systemwill allow
site.It was a process
warm air to be reused.A paraffin wax thermal
that felt very
natural. tank will act as a heat battery storing solar energy
for hot water and any top-up heat needed.Solar
panelswill provide hot water, and rainwater will
be collected for use inside and outside.
The housewill alsobe insulatedusingrecycled
newspaper."We are ventilating but not throwing
that heat away,' said Richard. "By keeping that
hot air you reduceyour heatingrequirement
dramatically.We will effectively be building the
houselike a warm ski jacket."
The four bedroomhousewill havetiple glazing,
which will be filled with Argon gas,which is
more thermally resistantthan air, also to keepthe
housewarm.
Richard hasbeenworking on the designwith
sustainablebuilder, Ecolibrium Solutions,based
in Capel le Ferne,who will be building the house.
Andrew Bassant,of Ecolibrium Solutions,
suggestedusing the Timbrel vault technique,
which will be so fundamentalto the building,
using26,000handmadeclay tiles.
Although it will be only the secondtime the
processhasbeenusedin this country when it's
built this sunmer. he is confident of success.
"It is extremely strong and extremely think.
*

I havecompleteconfidencein the engineers


becausethey are so goodat theirjob. I don't know
how to do theirjob, but they do. It hasn'tbeen
done quite like this before but the engineershave
built a smallmodelin their garage."
@OT''ft'Nlee,#.
Drawing on expertiseand materialsas close to
homeaspossiblewaspart of being asholistically
sustainable aspossible.
BE&UTIRoflffitffi
But his ethicsweretestedat almostthe first hurdle hck ro ths 6alon...
Weh-uru-a
when it took him weeksto find a five-bar gatefor *
the site madefrom ethically sourcedwood. $--^
Most peoplewould havegivenin andboughtone
from the local DIY store,but Richard stuck to his
principles.
"The one thing we're not doing at the moment
is generatingelectricity on site.You haveto take
tr
I want to make
the principle right the way through to the nth
degree.You don't uselighting frivolouslyif you're the building as
building a houselike this. Every bit of energy good as it can
counts.
be.Not simply
"I havealwaysbeenpassionate about
sustainability;it wasa corefocusof my studies.
But I wasneverin a positionto implementthat
to end up with SalonOffers
- until now."
awondeful facial
Treatyourselfto a Decleor/Matis/SK4
"We avoid supermarketsout of principle because looking in May and receiveyour secondfacial
our local farm shopsarebetter and we believe in building, but
supportinglocal businesses. Building the houseis
a kind of extensionof that really." to make it as 112- PRICElN f UNE!
He adds:"I want to makethe building as goodas fficient as f25'oofull set of fibreglassnails
it canbe. Not simply to endup with a wonderful
possibleto Pleasering the salonfor furtherdetails
looking building,but to makeit asefficientas
possibleto showpeoplethat it canbe done." showpeople or visit our website
The housewhich wasdesignedspecificallyfor that it can be
its plot, will alsoappearto "grow" out of the land
01622661300
itself, thanks also to earthbanking and extensive done 25 Gabriel'sHill ' Maidstone
treeplantingaroundit. ;F www.botanicalbeauty.co.uk
Its living roof will providea habitatfor native
ferns,grasses, herbsandflowers.Usinglocally
familiar plantswill enablethe building to blend
into the landscape.
"It meansthat the roof will mimic the coloursand Denture Wearers
texturesof the surroundinglandscape - it would
look ridiculousif it wasbright greenneatlymown
afe you ewafe there is a new
grasswhen all aroundit wasbrown and wintry." professionin dentlstrYr the
He adds:"I like the ideathat you passby without
noticingthe house.It is the appropriatething in a
Glinical Dental I'iechnicianr
rural setting." aimed directly at you?
Inside,the housewill havefour bedrooms,but
will alsohaveflexible spaces,to accommodate . Completedentureservice
futurechangesin the couple'slifestyle. . FR E Econsul tat ion
Expectingtheir first baby in the summer,Richard . Referralsif required
and Sophieplan to live therefor the restof their . lmpressions
lives,and so haveevenconsideredhow they could
. Creationof your
usethe housewhenthey areelderly.
Works to improve the land drainagebeganearly i ndi vi dual l designed
y
in January,with the main building work due to dentures
start in February.It is expectedthat the project . Fitting
could be finishedby mid September, althoughthe . After care
trickiestpart - building the vault- will rely in its
early stageson the weather. r Unhurried,understanding approach
"I am really excited.The reasonI don't feel . Patientchoicea priority
daunted- maybeI should- is becauseI genuinely o Widerangeof optionsincluding:Cobaltchrome,tltanium
feel that we havegot the right people involved. and FLEXIBLE YALPLISI DEXTURES
'Another thing I am passionateaboutis enabling . HSA Patientswelcome
peopleto addvalue.It is greatthat the Timbrel . Nervouspatients especiallywelcome
vault idea camefrom the builder. The building
will be so muchbetterfor letting lots of very
talentedpeople make their mark.
"This is the mostambitiousbuilding I have
designedto date."
Having saidthat,it couldbejust the start,ashe
'hopes For a FREE Gonsultation call 0.1622727848,
it will serveasan inspirationto others
who want to createandlive in environmentally FiT---_l I Pq Pro<thotics265 TonbridgeRoad MaidstoneKent MEl6 8ND
IcrlrAIlIFDl-' -''--' ."-:'
consciousbuildingstoo. And he couldbe the man ul - 1 Li am Sher r y D i pC D T R C S( Eng) D D H o n s
to designthem.

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