Holiday Cottages Underway

So here we are starting a new and exciting adventure at East Cambusmoon. Three years ago we moved into our house, beautifully designed and immensely energy efficient, see here. We adopted a very low energy approach to the design and the construction detailing which focussed on significant levels of insulation, a high standard of air-tightness, strong passive solar design and a ground source heat pump for the heating and hot water, supported by a small PV array and mechanical heat recovery and ventilation. When we were at the design stage 4 years ago this approach was not widely taken but, even in the short time since we moved in, more people and architects are looking more broadly at how homes and buildings are managed environmentally. We joined the AECB and adopted their Silver Standard for energy use and carbon emissions. In truth the house has far out-performed this standard and even in the last particularly cold winter was warm all day every day at very low cost.

The Next Phase - Renovation of the Dairy

Welcome to your new holiday home..........needs a bit of work to get that roof sorted out but you can see the potential for the restoration of the stonework arch. We've been working on the design for the two holiday properties we're going to create out of the former dairy and these have been through the planning process so now the detailed drawings are underway before a building warrant application is submitted. We've used the same architect Thomas Robinson Architects (see links) because we like their ethos and design approach. The renovation will continue the low energy principles, using high quality materials and a sympathetic but contemporary design.
The design for this south elevation makes the most of the existing stone arch as the main entrance to the house and also brings some more light into the property with full height glazing both on and adjacent to the door. The stonework will be cleaned up, the slate roof completely replaced using the existing slate alongwith the slate we retrieved from the original farmhouse and there'll be a small area of larch cladding to tie in with materials on the adjoining holiday house and the main 'new' house. This is the East elevation - the stone building on the left is the one whose elevation and entrance door are shown above. The large doors on both holiday houses will open onto patios and terrific views across the fields towards the Campsies. So this is where I envisage guests may be sitting munching their cornflakes in the morning sun planning their day ahead!

We are in!

No news is good news..and also reflects the lack of an internet connection.

Still raining in Scotland

Where to begin? Like many 'phone conversations and chats if you speak to someone often enough you catch up on lots of news but if you haven't spoken to them for a while you can't think of a thing that you've done. As we've been in our friend's house for a week and have now moved to a holiday house nearby we're not on the internet so blogging has been sporadic in the past 10 days. Activity at the farm has been considerable so we'll let photos explain where we're at.
One of the past day's issues is the internal wallhead height in the upper rooms. As the house is 1.5 storeys the trick is to achieve a well-balanced room which is usable without looking like a triangle and providing lots of awkward corners. The architect has proposed 1.55m wall head in the master bedroom but we personally have huge difficulties 'wasting' all that floorspace behind the joinery/plasterboard. The elevation shown looks west; here we've agreed with the joiner not to put any internal joinery on that side, other than boxing out the flue which can be seen, but to reduce the wallhead on the east elevation to 1.35m. This still entails the 'loss' of floorspace but provides proper walls for placing a bedhead against. The second photo shows the framework in place for that. On one of the landings we're creating an eaves storage cupboard. We're hoping to achieve optimal usable floor space and create a desirable room.

Winter sun, first snow...


It was a chilly, raw weekend, and we certainly felt it in the caravan! I just couldn't get my feet warm the whole weekend, so on Sunday afternoon took a stroll around the fields to capture progress 'from a distance' on ECF2 after so much time focussing on the nitty gritty detail.

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