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Orchard House


Hatton, Warrington




Under Construction


A Paragraph 79 environmental home in the Green Belt

Studio Bark received full planning approval for Orchard House in 2016 and is currently under construction. It comprises a two-storey, four bedroom environmental home in the green belt. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Paragraph 79 (now Paragraph 80) allows individual countryside homes to be built, provided that they reflect the highest standards of architecture, sustainability and innovation.

Orchard House is a rigorously sustainable home for an environmentally conscious young family. Studio Bark conceived the project through the client’s childhood memories of time spent in the former Orchard. Which is where he was helping his Grandfather drive the Rotavator and his grandmother pick the fruit. 30 years on, the Orchard will now be restored using a considered mix of local species. However, the restoration will be keeping its longevity being secured by this modest contextual house.


Design details for a sustainable home

The varied orientations of the building’s elevations combined with the ‘mithril-like’ larch cladding, present moments of permeability, rhythm and depth. Studio Bark designed to complement the haphazard verticality of the proposed Orchard with such careful consideration of form and materiality. It will also assimilate the building into its surroundings. The concealed timber shutters provide user-controlled solar shading, whilst allowing the building to hunker down at night or during the hottest summer days. The team have arranged the two living cubes with inset terraces to respond to the two main aspects; across the fields to the east and out to the woodland to the southwest. Consequently, connecting link replaces traditional circulation, whilst presenting a calming and green transition space for reading and quiet reflection.


How to build an Paragraph 79 environmental home

Studio Bark centred he environmental strategy around simplicity. Therefore, they combine of local and low impact materials to provide simple, honest and beautiful spaces. The building’s ‘link’ provides a user-controlled solar space, thermal buffer and passive ventilation system in one. Since conception of Periscope House (as featured on C4’s Grand Designs, August 2014), Studio Bark have been researching and developing PHCC technology using a combination of Trombe principles and scientific methodologies, including thermal mass parameters, stack-effect ventilation and embodied energy calculations. Studio Bark used the latest in thermal imaging technology for ongoing monitoring. Therefore, they have refined the system to dramatically reduce heat demand. Further, this improved internal air quality and buffer internal temperatures. Using a combination of basic environmental principles, simple technologies and passive systems, Orchard House will be one of the lowest impact buildings in the country.

Thoughts on Orchard House

“Designs of the quality and architectural and environmental merit of Orchard House are unfortunately rare. We need more of them to inspire our neighbourhoods that low impact living is possible without sacrificing our culture, history, comfort and local landscape.” – Sofie Pelsmakers DipArch MScArch MRes ARB RIBA, Environmental Architect / Consultant / Researcher & Lecturer

“This project has taken us on a journey of experimentation and design development. Working very closely with our fantastic client to develop a design we responded both to the complexities of a small former Orchard and the needs of an environmentally committed young family. We can’t wait to get the building on site and get our teeth stuck in to the juicy detailing.” – Wilf Meynell, Director, Studio Bark


What is Paragraph 80?

Orchard House was built under Paragraph 79 (now Paragraph 80) of the National Planning Policy Framework. Find out more about our work with Paragraph 80 homes here, and get in touch if you think we can help you with your isolated home building project.

Explore our Paragraph 80 approved homes here.

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