A lot of us dream of having a holiday home – ideally, a bright little place that's cosy in the winter and doesn't incur huge running costs even when you're not there.
One couple, Michael and Juliet Peters, decided to build a holiday home exactly like that, choosing to construct a house to Passivhaus standards to ensure sustainability, low running costs and a warm living environment.
Plus, it's stunning. Located near the beach in the village of Camber in East Sussex, the house – called Lumleys – features large expanses of glass to allow lots of natural light and gorgeous views.
Passivhaus building methods are all about achieving high levels of thermal performance and air-tightness, to result in minimal heating bills. At Lumleys, the heat of the sun floods in through the huge windows from Rationel and is retained within the building to keep it warm.
The windows' insulating properties are boosted by argon gas-filled units, while an air-source heat pump and solar tubes heat the water.
"Sustainability was key to the design and materials chosen," says Robin Peters of Camber Consulting, the owners' family firm, adding that Rationel's Danish-designed timber windows offered 'tailor-ability'.
"We have everything from French doors opening out onto the decking and the garden, and the magnificent full-height and double-height windows which frame the front entrance door, and a porthole round window," he says.
There was also a choice of factory-finished colours, so a soft grey shade was chosen for both interior and exterior finishes.
"We are delighted that the windows create such a dramatic impression as you come towards the house up the lane," says Peters.
For those wanting a snoop round a Passivhaus building – or simply a weekend in beautiful Camber – Lumleys is available to rent. It's only about an hour from London by car or the high-speed train link from Ashford International and would offer a perfect eco-friendly British break.
Rationel, the company that provided this case study, will be exhibiting at The South West Homebuilding & Renovating Show over the weekend at stand 123 (November 18th and 19th 2017, The Bath & West Showground, Somerset).
FREE tickets are available for Clearly readers via this link: www.homebuildingshow.co.uk/clearlySW. Tickets need to be claimed by 3pm on November 17th 2017. Additional T&Cs apply: www.homebuildingshow.co.uk/terms.