PROJECT TO DEMOLISH A POST WAR HOUSE AND REPLACE IT WITH A STATE OF THE ART MODERN LOW ENERGY FAMILY HOME IN BECKENHAM
The family bought the property with sole intention of replacing it with a home perfectly tailored to there requirements. The site is in a conservation area with very varied styles of houses throughout. The site is generous with a long steeply sloping garden with woods and a railway cutting at the bottom.
We consulted Bromley planning department ahead of finalising the design. Our first suggestion was a flat contemporary roof design, but this was rejected on the basis that most houses in the area had sloping roofs (even though the only locally listed house close by is an art deco style with a flat roof). On this basis a second design with a steep double pitch roof was put forward and found to be acceptable, so the planning application was submitted on this basis. While the application was being processed a new neighbour had bought the adjacent property and objected strongly to the local councillors resulting in the application being called in to the Planning Committee and refused. It then was appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and this was upheld fortunately (the planning inspector in his report actually praised the design which is fairly unusual). This delayed the start of building by over nine months.
Because of the sloping ground the house is stepped down on two levels with a central corridor and stairway which made the foundation design quite challenging. Once the foundations were complete the superstructure was erected using structurally insulated panels (SIPs), which is fairly speedy to erect. The building was then fitted out and had an additional layer of insulation on the outside that is finished with silicone render which requires no maintenance and is very fire resistant. The house does not have any gas supply and has 8kW of solar tiles on the roof and draws hot water and heating from a ground source heat pump. Being extremely airtight it has mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and a building cooling coil to prevent over heating in warm weather. Being open plan on the ground floor, a sprinkler system has been fitted throughout and an automatic smoke vent installed.
The demolition of the original house started in March 2018 and the family moved in just before Christmas that year.