How this couple transformed a derelict stone barn into a stunning Passivhaus — and no longer pay energy bills

A stone barn conversion in the British countryside
Paul and Sonny's Passivhaus barn sits in the rolling countryside surrounded by biodiverse gardens (Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

Some of the best projects can be years in the making. That was certainly what Paul and Sonny Shepherd found, having bought two hectares of land, along with two barns, 12 years ago. 

Converting the first barn taught them valuable lessons as first-time self-builders. But it was through the conversion of the second barn that they were able to realise their ambitious eco-friendly dreams.

Alison Wall

Alison Wall is an experienced homes journalist, and former chief sub editor of Homebuilding & Renovating. She has interviewed countless self-builders and renovators regarding their projects, and has a special interest in eco builds. She is also renovating her 1970s home and garden, and has a particular interest in making her own home greener, having recently added solar panels, an EV chargepoint and a solar battery system.

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