New Build

Compared to projects to an existing building, new build houses can bring a number of benefits. The first to consider is that the construction cost is free of vat. Compared to works on existing buildings for new build 20% more of a project budget goes towards the construction costs. This does sometimes tip the decision of an ambitious renovation and extend project towards a knock down and new build.

When the entire building fabric is new, we can design to Passivhaus principles. This is a design of the building fabric that minimises heat loss. In the UK our building standards lag behind Passivhaus a standard that has been widely adopted across Europe. Taking the Passivhaus route in design brings a radical reduction in energy consumption and of course heating costs. This must be balanced against an increase in the construction costs. But this is more often a small cost, and the decision is an easy one to make.

Another benefit is that new build design is free of the frustrations of adapting an existing building. For example, in house design, a popular aim is that the main living space is a large Living room kitchen. A room with space for sofas and TV as well as cooking and dining. With new build this can be a primary driver of the floor plan design. Features to this space, such as high ceilings can be incorporated from the outset. A second example is with the first floor – here with new build we can incorporate ensuite bathrooms for each bedroom.

With a new build design comes the design of the exterior and the building’s architecture. The choices range from the many iterations of traditional design to the spectrum of contemporary, modern forms. We base our traditional house designs on a careful study for a particular period style of house. This will often reflect the vernacular of the location in the materials and detail. For contemporary designs we can open the options to some original design that could include a contemporary palette of materials such as glass, copper or zinc. These wide choices we explore with our clients to develop their aims and taste.

A popular format is a hybrid of both traditional and contemporary design. Designs with a traditional exterior and within, modern interiors. The mix can successfully extend to the private garden side elevations that can incorporate large glass areas to principal rooms such as living room kitchens. This hybrid ticks many boxes for people whose personal references are often traditional houses, often house that they grew up in, but with the opportunity to create their own dream house they want to adopt a modern approach to room layout and style internally.