Subterranean Eco Home in an Area of ONB – Northumberland

The project

Our clients live in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Northumberland. They had a large garden in which they wanted to develop an eco-friendly three bedroom property.

How we worked

This was always going to be a challenging project because of the location of the property. As it was to be built in an AONB, planning permission was mandatory and it was made clear by the Council that any design had to minimise the impact of the new build on the overall view of the area.

It was agreed very early on in the project that constructing a subterranean home would, in effect, create a hiding place for the build below ground. Once outline planning permission was approved, our clients felt confident that the project was headed in the right direction.

There were some conditions on the planning permission, one of which was that the build had to be carbon neutral. Given that part of the build would be underground this wasn’t a difficult hurdle to overcome. There was enhanced insulation above and below ground and we made the most of the biomass heating, which meant that heating that would normally last a week in a traditional above ground property would last months in our clients’ subterranean home.

We also installed solar panels which convert energy from the sun back into the grid.

Project success

This really is a house with ‘wow’ factor. From outside, the property is well hidden and does not interrupt the views of the surrounding countryside. Step inside and you find yourself in a beautiful and contemporary home. The situation of the house creates a flood of natural light into the central courtyard, giving it a 007 film set quality.

If you have any queries regarding subterranean properties or you want to construct or extend a property in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), then contact us to discuss your ideas.

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