The brief for this new private residence was to create an environmentally-friendly, modern family home, designed to be striking but fit effortlessly into the existing street scene, using high quality materials in conjunction with the latest green technology.


Project Value: £750,000

Location: St Albans

Completion Date: 2008

Cherry Croft, St Albans

To accommodate the brief the house was designed on 3 floors, comprising a total of 4,000 square feet, with largely open-plan living accommodation on the ground floor. It has a master-bedroom suite and 3 en-suite bedrooms on the first floor with a spacious galleried landing, open to the double-height dining area below. The second floor comprises a large bedroom, bathroom and storage room, capable of being easily re-configured into 2, or even 3 double bedrooms, if required in the future.
Before work started on the house, the back garden was excavated for the 600 metres of underground pipework needed to serve a ground-source heat pump. This state-of-the-art technology extracts heat from the ground in winter to heat the house and hot water and can also be reversed to cool the house in summer. Because it gets most of its energy from the ground, it uses only about a quarter of the electricity which would be required for conventional heating.
The house is light and airy, having extensive full-height glazing at the rear giving an open, connected feel between house and garden.
This natural lighting is further enhanced with sun-pipes over the central stairwell, flooding what might otherwise be a dark area with sunlight. Another green technology adopted is rainwater harvesting, whereby rainwater collected from the roof is stored in 2 large underground tanks. This water is filtered and pumped automatically on demand, to flush toilets and provide water for garden irrigation and car-washing, saving on metered mains water.
The house was completed in the spring of 2008 at a cost of £750,000 and is finished internally to a very high standard, with extensive use of granite, travertine and oak.

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