Missed ‘Grand Designs: The Street’ on Channel 4 last night?

Here’s what you need to know…

Last night Grand Designs: The Street followed a young family as they designed and created the home of their dreams on a strict budget.

Featured last night: Nowhere to build their dream home

Paul and Blanka had been looking for a plot in Oxfordshire for some time and were becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of choice and the unrealistic high prices. Graven Hill not only had the plot they were looking for, but it also gave them the chance to build what they had always wanted.

In last night’s episode, we joined them and their two young boys as they undertook the challenge of building an eco-friendly home for their family.

With the aim of constructing the most cost-effective house on the street, Paul chose to do a lot of the work himself – a remarkable feat which saw him utilise sustainable materials in order to construct this unique handcrafted home.

Their hempcrete house creates new challenges and unforeseen obstacles but they pull through, experiencing the Graven Hill community in action as it rallies round to help them.

Paul & Blanka

The details: 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, started in June 2016, completed August 2018, final build cost £190k

Building an eco-friendly home

As a garden village, we believe that Graven Hill has a duty to prioritise health and well-being, and our pioneers wholeheartedly agree.

Here are 3 reasons why they have chosen to go green.

  • Efficiency — as energy prices continue to climb, consumers are looking into more innovative ways to gain control and transparency over their costs. Eco-friendly homes are usually built to higher specifications than the average new build, with extra insulation and triple-glazing making them extremely airtight and far more efficient. Many of our residents have reported huge savings simply by taking this approach.
  • Cleaner Air — Airtight homes require proper ventilation in order to ensure a constant supply of fresh air, resulting in exceptional air quality. Unlike a standard home with central heating, these homes never get stuffy. Instead the ventilation systems provide fresh, filtered air 365 days a year – a huge bonus for those with allergies or respiratory issues.
  • Sustainability — Eco-friendly construction also involves using sustainable materials in order to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Materials such as local timber, re-purposed steel and recycled plastics all reduce carbon footprint and help create a home to be proud of.

We are passionate about sustaining the environment for future generations, read more about our commitment to  our existing wildlife residents here.

The beauty of creating your own home is the freedom to build anything you like, and the pioneers have proven that it is indeed possible to combine style with eco-friendly credentials. Here are just a few of our favourite eco-friendly elements on site:

  • Meadow Roof — Shunning the traditional roof for something a little more colourful, some residents have chosen to install a wildflower meadow on their roof in order to increase biodiversity and benefit the local wildlife.
  • HempcretePaul and Blanka decided to use this natural material over the conventional options. Benefits include it being incredibly cost effective, low maintenance, carbon neutral and its high thermal properties.
  • Rainwater Harvesting — This is the process of collecting rainwater through the gutter pipes and storing it for reuse. Storage tanks can hold months’ worth of water which can then be used for domestic use once it has passed through a series of filtration systems – think of it as a clever garden water butt. Rainwater harvesting requires some maintenance but does result in far less water usage and much cheaper bills!

To find out more about building your green dream home at Graven Hill, get in touch with us today.