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Barff House, Brandesburton

The clients had the opportunity to take on a group of disused agricultural outbuildings and turn them into a family home. A lovely setting, and elements of the buildings with real character were plus points, but the poor state of repair meant there was much work to be done.

We worked with the clients on altering and extending the layout, while using the Passivhaus PHPP software to model the energy performance of the proposals and Artlantis to visualise it all. The challenge became one of effectively fitting a new, insulated building within the shell of the former barns, while retaining the features and character of the old structures.

The final proposals combined open spaces and views across the surrounding fields with the young family’s needs for “places of my own” - the kitchen is central to the plan, and the house has two playrooms for the young children. Rooflights bring daylight into the deep plan, and the energy costs will be far lower than many more straightforward new dwellings.