Grand Designs: Cob Castle

Grand Designs: Cob Castle

Yesterday’s episode of Grand Designs revisited ‘cob castle’, one of the largest houses to feature on the programme and also happens to be one of our previous clients!

As described, the house is made from cob which is a natural building material made from subsoil, water, fibrous organic material and occasionally lime.

Our energy consultant, Lisa, remembers the project well: “Performing the SAP calculation was an interesting challenge as seven years ago cob wasn’t a building material commonly found in SAP! Not to mention the round shape.”

The project was a massive undertaking, with builders moving over 5,000 tonnes of soil and having to excavate over a quarter mile of foundations. The house was made out of 27 loads of eco concrete (75% less cement due to the use of pfa a waste product from coal fired power stations), 10,000 dense concrete blocks for the reinforced retaining walls and 2,000 tonnes of cob which went into the outbuildings, as well as the main house and Annex.

A potential roadblock to the project came when obtaining special planning permission under PPS7, which dictates that  ”Isolated new houses in the countryside will require special justification for planning permission to be granted” where “exceptional quality and innovative nature of the design of a proposed, isolated new house may provide this special justification for granting planning permission”.

However the project satisfied all the relevant building codes and proved proud owner Kevin McCabe’s vision that you can have comfort, luxury and space at the same time as harmonizing with the environment.

Do you have a building project you require energy calculations for? Our experienced consutlants can help you meet compliance with the latest building standards and regulations for your area. You can get in touch via our quote form here -- Get a quote  or alternatively call us on: 01455 883 259. 

Article published: 31st October 


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