Ian and Catrin Lloyd have remodelled and extended their 1970s house — expanding their living space whilst reducing their carbon footprint.

We loved this house as it was, and the last thing we wanted to do was spoil what was already here,” explains Catrin Lloyd of her family’s eye-catching home. The property stands in a typical 1970s cul-de-sac development of rather uninspiring brick properties and is set back from the high street of a Hampshire village, which lies within a Conservation Area and the New Forest National Park.

Fans of contemporary design, the couple were also keen to reduce their carbon footprint by making their new home as energy efficient as possible. Catrin is a community worker, specialising in sustainable development, and was well informed about the available technology. However, she soon discovered that many of the local architectural practices she approached failed to share her enthusiasm for the project. “Then in 2010 we found PAD Studio and something just clicked,” she recalls. “They specialise in sustainable construction and we loved their designs.”

A single storey side extension containing the garage and a badly laid out ground floor bedroom provided the obvious starting point for a new extension, and PAD produced a number of different sketches based on the family’s needs and the orientation of the site.

The new side extension was conceived as a simple timber frame box, linked to the existing house by glazed panels to the front and rear, which help to introduce plenty of light into the interior. The old timber boarding has been replaced, new windows were inserted throughout and a warm roof added. This has been covered in sedum to increase biodiversity and minimise rainwater run-off.

The first floor was extended to accommodate a master bedroom with an en suite shower and a private balcony. The new guest bedroom also benefits from its own south-facing balcony, with cleverly designed solar shading to prevent overheating.

Discreetly positioned solar thermal panels were fitted on the sedum roof of the extension, which feed into a thermal store and supply the family’s hot water.

“The solar panels did cause some problems, but PAD managed to persuade the planning committee that they should be setting a positive example within the Conservation Area, not penalising us for energy-conscious design,” says Catrin.

“In some ways choosing environmentally friendly products was helpful, as it reduced our choices and helped to focus our minds. We wanted to use natural materials and local companies wherever possible, although sadly the roof slates were imported from France because the Welsh ones were so much more expensive.”

The couple had harboured concerns that such dramatic alterations could render their house sterile and unfriendly. “We worried we could end up with a pretentious showhome which felt like a hotel, but this fear proved to be totally unfounded,” Catrin explains. “We lived in a Victorian rental house during the build, which was really dark, so moving back into our own home emphasised just how light the interiors are. Now we plan to never move again.”

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