Winner of the West of England LABC Building Excellence Award for Best Individual New Home, which recognises high quality one-off new build homes, is Hensley House, in Lansdown Road, Bath.
The criteria for this award is that it should be an outstanding project that goes above and beyond the level seen on a day-to-day basis – particularly with regard to quality finish and detail.
Main contractors for the project were Hazelcliff Construction; architects were Casa Architects.
“This was a very prestigious award for us. We have been in business for 17 years and this is our first LABC Award. We are a fairly small company with five direct employees and everyone was really pleased,” said David Hall, managing director of Hazelcliff Construction. The company carries out a range of projects including refurbishment, new build and design and build. All of their work comes through recommendation.
Hensley House is a contemporary designed detached four-bedroom house constructed in the garden of Charlcombe House, a five bedroom late 19th/early 20th Century house, the owners of which wanted to build a second property for their retirement.
The site benefits from mature trees within the plot and a dense belt of trees on the north and north west boundary, all contributing to privacy and seclusion.
The building is constructed on piled foundations with an over-site slab incorporating 100 tonnes of concrete.
David Hall said: “This was a difficult site in that there was only a 2.8m gateway limiting access, plus the fact that the trees on site all had preservation orders on them, so we had to ensure tree root protection throughout the entire construction phase. This was one of the most challenging jobs I have ever done.”
With a footprint of approximately 130 sq m, (20 sqm less than that of Charlcombe Cottage) the ridge and eaves height of Hensley House sits well below that of Charlcombe Cottage.
Principal elevations are predominantly in Bath stone ashlar, mixed with small areas of timber boarding set within glazed panels. Bath stone coloured render is used elsewhere on the secondary/rear elevations and the property incorporates Velfac windows. The standing seam zinc roofing provides a contemporary and sustainable alternative to lead, which will weather to a dull grey similar to the slate found on Charlcombe Cottage.
The interior, like the building is in contemporary style, with underfloor heating on the ground and first floor, digitally controlled in each room from a master control panel. Secondary wood burning heat sources are provided in the principal living areas and all of the internal joinery is bespoke, including handrails and staircases designed by Smith & Choice Specialist Design Joinery.
The lounge is located on the first floor, which also has a balcony to make the most of the views overlooking Bath, The kitchen/diner is located downstairs, together with two of the bedrooms, with the other two bedrooms situated upstairs.
Designed to meet the highest environmental standards, the layout of the building is organised to make the most of passive solar gains through south facing glazing.
Overhanging eaves on the south elevation help prevent overheating in summer months. The building envelope is super insulated, including high specification glazing in order to keep energy requirements to an absolute minimum.