Super-Green Eco-Home For Sale, £3.5M (US$ 5.5M)


All images via Stonebee Barnsley Hill Farm

And we all just immediately say yeah, right, a 20,000 (see update) 6,000 square foot house can't be green. But let's ignore that, let's pretend that ten families are getting together and moving in (the home theater seats 25, just perfect!) and have a look at what Stonebee Developments is actually offering in Barnsley Hill, right next door to Liz Hurley.

Also ignore the fact that this is supposed to be a conversion of a 17th century barn and any heritage architect would choke on the fact that it no longer looks anything like a four hundred year old building inside or out, because they have done the right thing by reusing an existing building.

"There is a long standing myth around low-carbon house building that achieving luxury is not possible. Our advanced technology is at the forefront of energy conservation and is what makes the creation of truly low carbon home possible."

The most dramatic (and probably expensive) feature is the energy storage system. A bank of evacuated tube solar collectors gather heat throughout the year;

And they store it in the ground for winter heating.

Schematic of the system.

That's not an indoor pool, it is an energy storage reservoir!

And those walls are sealed tight. The builder says:


the most misunderstood and the most important aspect of eco-house building is air-tightness. This one measure will reduce energy consumption more than any other, including insulation. We have developed innovative methods of achieving air-tightness throughout the build.

Of course, the food in the kitchen will all be local and organic, perhaps grown right in their own garden. Do you get an extended growing season if you plant on top of a thermal storage bed?

Of course, it has heat recovery ventilators that change and filter the air every two hours, radiant floor heating, a duct system for wiring and services that can be updated as required, rainwater harvesting and the only rooms that are air conditioned are the cinema and the master bedroom.

I have thrown verbal bricks at other big "green" houses, and reiterate that a monster house in the country, by definition, cannot be sustainable. But this has been done with some care and skill, with ideas and systems that could be applied to ten houses instead of one. Given the state of the UK real estate market, perhaps the developer will consider subdividing? Gawk more at Barnsley Hill Farm

More Green Monster Homes:

9 "Green" Monsters: Can a 15,000 SF Mcmansion be Green?
UPDATE The website noted that the house "covered 6,000 square meters." I made a dumb metric conversion error and multiplied it by 3.14, the conversion for linear, not area, and came up with about 20,000, which seemed about right looking at the pictures. A sharp-eyed commenter noted that 6000 square meters was 64 THOUSAND square feet, and I sent a quick email to the developer, who said oops- they meant to say 6,000 square feet, not meters.

Still grossly excessive, still suitable for subdivision, but a lot better. I apologise for the error.

Tags: Green Building

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