Tuesday, 15 December 2009

the demonstration house

Border Oak are hoping to build a 'show house' next year - demonstrating how oak frames can be used for contemporary projects and also showcasing how Border Oak might approach the more and more stringent eco regulations - we are aiming to the top level of classification on the Code for Sustainable Homes - a tough and expensive challenge. 

It's no cutting edge avant guarde fantasy creation but more of a 21st Century reinterpretation of a redundant barn - to respect the Conservation Area and residential surroundings (aka satisfying the local authority and pleasing the neighbours) but  also because what Border Oak does best is contemporary vernacular.

It will be super insulated, with local, prefabricated materials and systems, carbon neutral (or maybe even carbon negative) and low impact. We are using a wood pellet boiler, PVT panels, underfloor heating, Black Mountain Sheeps wool, Hempcrete and of course, green oak.

I will try to keep a detailed 'self build diary' as we go so its progress can be shared step by step - but once it is up and running please do come and see it and let us know what you think. It's an exciting project for Border Oak but one we hope to share with all sorts of self builders, developers, schools, planners and designers.

The plans were a shared design effort between Dad, my cousin Jim and myself - but lots of things were included or altered at the planners request and after consulting neighbours.

The site isn't huge, but there is a walled section and views over a field so it has some good points. It is 2 mins from Border Oak's office and workshop and in a great village so should be an improvement from the old corrugated industrial unit that was there.

I would love to rent or purchase some of the field behind and plant a small orchard and herb garden - maybe get a couple of Border Oak donkeys?!! I think a wildflower underskirt in an old fashioned orchard would be just beautiful.


  1. I have been eagerly waiting for the launch of the show house from Border Oaks.I look to see the underfloor heating by nuheat which Iam using as well.

  2. The expensive challenge could be made easy with suntouch heating system to warm up your home from all sides.