The Beauty of Self Build

Simon Clarke
Posted September 13, 2023

Grand Designs House of the Year Nominee

If you’ve ever been inspired by the incredible transformations on ‘Grand Designs’ and thought to yourself, ‘I wish I could do that too,’ well, now is the time to take the plunge. But before you jump in, don’t forget to consider energy efficiency and sustainability!

Embracing the Passivhaus standard not only allows you to create a home that’s uniquely yours, but it also offers a wide range of additional benefits. You’ll be constructing a home that is supremely energy efficient and environmentally friendly. And, ultimately, this will translate to lower energy bills, reduced carbon emissions and a more comfortable and healthier home.

Self-Build Passivhaus Wuduhus longlisted for RIBA award
Grand Designs House of the Year Nominee – Mere House

Here in East Anglia, the region has long been a pioneer and promoter of Passivhaus self and custom builds. Last year, you may have even have seen one of our more unique projects appear on Grand Designs’ ‘Home of the Year’ show on Channel 4. Wuduhus in Cambridge was commissioned by our client, retired headteacher Joan Morters, and designed by local firm, Mole Architects.

This 135m2 2-bedroom home is designed to have as little environmental impact as possible and we’re proud to say it achieved an air test result of <0.358 m3/hm2@50pa, so it is phenomenally airtight. The end result is an extremely energy efficient, Passivhaus standard property, with virtually zero heating bills, PV panels for renewable energy, and a very low carbon footprint.

The Beauty of Self Build

The reasons why people choose to self build are many and varied. Some focus on the practical side, while others approach it from a more emotional or personal perspective.

The benefits include:

  • Total flexibility
  • Bespoke design
  • Sustainable living
  • Budgeting & affordability
  • Long-term savings

Up there as many people’s top reason to self build is the ‘total flexibility’ that such a personal project allows. Not only can you individually tailor your initial designs, incorporating the very latest in design styles, fixture and fittings (which usually involves the latest in high-tech ‘Bond’ gadgetry) but you can also choose the type of construction, as well as how involved you want to be in the overall process.

Other key drivers for self builders include sustainability and energy efficiency, which feature prominently across the design spectrum, from cosy country cottages to imposing sea-view villas. With fuel bills only going in one direction, many self-builders are looking to take advantage of the dramatic improvements in building construction methods and materials, such as Passivhaus, to ensure their high quality home performs super efficiently, yet still retains all the bespoke elements they desire.

Whatever design and style of building you’re looking for and however involved you wish to be, the majority of self-builders that we work with say that it’s been an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, full of highs and lows, with the end result being a home that they not only enjoy living in, but undeniably fills them with a sense of pride and makes the hard work and effort all the more worthwhile.

Interested in building a Passivhaus of your own?

Contact our friendly team for more information, or view more of our Self-Build projects.