Permission Granted to Transform Disused Reservoir into Modern Eco-Home

A Sussex design and planning consultant and his clients are ecstatic after receiving planning permission to convert a disused reservoir site in Maresfield into a post-modern home.

Hailsham-based Glenn Moore of Glenn Moore Associates is well known for his sustainable, eye-catching designs and his ability to deal with difficult planning issues.

The former reservoir is located in Straight Half Mile in Maresfield and provided the site’s owners with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use previously developed land to build a sustainable family home that makes an architectural statement while respecting the site’s industrial origins and setting.

“I took the opportunity to turn a boring concrete-lined hole in the ground into an architectural form that tests boundaries in domestic architecture, provides a focal point, and encourages architectural debate,” Moore explains.

“The technical design adheres to Passiv Haus guidelines.” The architectural design ethic is influenced by the Modernist architectural movement and pays homage to Art Deco and Bauhaus styles. The result is an overtly modern interpretation of these influences in the twenty-first century while retaining the agro/industrial links to the past.

“My design is not for everyone, but it has already received glowing support from Wealden District Council officers, has made my clients happy, and is gaining traction on social media.”

The roof is a geometric interpretation of the low rolling hills associated with the lower Sussex Weald, made of standing seam profiled zinc and glass. The walls are made of ‘Viroc,’ which is a compressed mixture of pinewood and cement that adds visual interest to the wall cladding. The frames for the windows and doors will be dark grey aluminium, and the glazing will be triple-glazed, argon-filled low E units.

The interior is made up of a mix of traditional plasterboard and natural wood, stone, and ceramics. ‘ECT’ stretch ceilings and wall partitions will be used as well. Flooring options include wood, stone, and ceramics.

Sustainable systems such as a ground source heat pump, mechanical heat recovery and ventilation system, wet underfloor heating, rainwater harvesting, high levels of insulation, and 100 percent LED lighting will be installed in the home. The home’s design incorporates sustainable construction techniques and is efficient in its use of energy and water resources, resulting in a low-carbon home.

The lower floor will retain the existing 60cm thick reinforced concrete walls, while the upper floor will be built with 150mm x 47mm stud framed walls.

Moore explains, “The Government encourages the re-use of redundant or disused buildings, as well as outstanding or innovative architecture that contributes to raising design standards in rural areas more broadly.” Good design is an important aspect of sustainable development; it is inextricably linked to good planning and should help to improve people’s lives.”

A reservoir, pump house, water tank, access stairs, ramps, and an access road are all part of the site. Because of its previous use, council officers agreed with Glenn Moore that the site should be considered brownfield land and that a new dwelling should be permitted because it would re-use a redundant structure and improve the immediate setting.

“I thought we’d have to go with a more traditional brick and tile building,” client Claudia Rich explained, “but Glenn was determined to stick to his guns and get permission for the design we wanted.” I am beyond thrilled and ecstatic.

“Due to personal circumstances, I have very specific needs, and Glenn managed to incorporate all of these into the design – he is absolutely amazing.” Even my 92-year-old mother adores the design. I especially like the variously shaped windows and the roof. We can’t wait to get started.”

The proposed dwelling is built on the same footprint as the former reservoir buildings, and the remainder of the site will be developed into residential curtilage while remaining open and ‘green’ in character.

Water Source Heat Pump

The lower floor of the proposed dwelling will be set into the ground, taking advantage of the reservoir structure’s depth while remaining low-profile. A single-story shallow-pitched-roof structure will be built above the existing reservoir to allow for the incorporation of in-law accommodation, garaging, and storage into a single unified structure. This ensures that the new dwelling’s height does not stand out in the landscape.

Last Updated on December 30, 2021


Author: Indra Gupta

Indra is an in-house writer with a love of Newcastle United and all things sustainable.

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