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Designed by a Suffolk architectural designer , built in Sweden and put together by local craftsmen

PUBLISHED: 12:50 21 June 2018

Harefield House, Suffolk an award-winning sustainable home at Norton

Harefield House, Suffolk an award-winning sustainable home at Norton

Eric Orme / Place Photography 2017

Suffolk couple’s dream sustainable home wins the Alan King Award for excellence in architectural technology.

Award presentation at Harefield House, Norton.  Nick Loomes – Plaice Design Co Ltd, Adrian Rush – Mixbrow Construction, John Adams and Elizabeth Adams – owners, Adrian Fleet – CIAT Regional Secretary, Chris Game – Plaice Design Co Ltd, Stuart Leech – Mixbrow Construction,Alex Naraian – CIAT President,Neil Sharpe – NJS Joinery, Kevin Crawford – CIAT Vice-President Technical, Richard Lebbon – R&J Cabinet Makers,Trevor Walshe – Svenskhome.Award presentation at Harefield House, Norton. Nick Loomes – Plaice Design Co Ltd, Adrian Rush – Mixbrow Construction, John Adams and Elizabeth Adams – owners, Adrian Fleet – CIAT Regional Secretary, Chris Game – Plaice Design Co Ltd, Stuart Leech – Mixbrow Construction,Alex Naraian – CIAT President,Neil Sharpe – NJS Joinery, Kevin Crawford – CIAT Vice-President Technical, Richard Lebbon – R&J Cabinet Makers,Trevor Walshe – Svenskhome.

Suffolk couple John and Liz Adams had a dream of building a greener, sustainable home to fit in perfectly with their garden.

They had important requirements - it still needed to be a family home but it also had to have a lower environmental impact, and be more economical and so less `costly’ in the amount of fuel needed to heat and run it.

Now, timber-framed Harefield House at Norton, built in the gardens of their former home, ticks those boxes.

It is highly insulated, triple glazed and with solar panels doesn’t have a big requirement to buy power.

Harefield House, Suffolk an award-winning sustainable home at NortonHarefield House, Suffolk an award-winning sustainable home at Norton

And now their home has been honoured, along with the professionals, with an award from the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT).

Plaice Design of Suffolk, and other professionals gathered with the owners to receive the award for their special eco home - The Alan King Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology.

Mrs Adams said, as keen gardeners they had a master plan of how their new home would be placed and fit in with the gardens. They actually moved the topsoil of their kitchen garden by the barrow load and helped prepare the site.

And they met with chartered architectural technologist Chris Game, of Plaice Design, to discuss their requirements.

Harefield House, Suffolk an award-winning sustainable home at NortonHarefield House, Suffolk an award-winning sustainable home at Norton

“Chris designed the house. We had our master plan for the site and the relationship with its surroundings and garden were very important to us.

“We decided to get a house in kit form. We chose that because you can get much higher `tightness’ in a pre-fabricated house.

“You lose less heat, so you need to generate less.”

The kit came via Ipswich-based Svensk Homes.

She added: “We went to Sweden to see our house being made. It was less of a factory, it was very much more a workshop. It was a fantastic thing to do I looked through my bedroom window.”

It was bespoke designed and arrived on the back of a lorry.

The main structure was up in just four days.

The new house has very high levels of insulation, triple glazing and underfloor heating from an air source heat pump. Solar panels produce an income which offsets the cost of electricity bought in.

There is also a air circulation system which recovers heat.

It has a zinc roof, which can be recycled if the house even has to come down.

“We enjoyed living in an old house, for 18 years, and we wanted it to have a bit of character, light and oddities. The kitchen has been handmade by Richard Lebbon of Rougham and there are other features including window seats and an ash wall.

“This house is really warm, even in cold weather.

“It fits in really well with the environment, and the water from the roof fills the pond which attacts widlife.

“I can see a goldfinch on the buttercups now.

“It is a lovely house to live in.

“We think it costs about £400 to run a year and there is no gas or oil used.

“I would love to think that more modern homes will have some of the features we have in our house so we don’t need the energy.

“It is fabulous that our house has won the award, for Plaice Designs, it was lovely showing it off for the judges and professionals. We hope that more people will be interested in it.”

Chris Game, co-founder of Plaice said: “As the awardds were open to the UK and international entries it was great to even be shortlisted, so to walk away with an award really was the icing on the cake. “It is great the project team have been able to re-visit the home to celebrate the award with the owners, and for them to see their new home being recognised at this level.”

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David Vincent

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EADT writer David Vincent has more than 40 years experience in Suffolk. He has explored the highways and byeways of East Anglia, meeting homeowners, developers and estate agents from Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh and Colchester to Diss.

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