Photographic Joy

Watching our plans gradually come to to life is supremely exciting. My parting words to anyone visiting site are always the same, ‘Please please send me photo’s the minute, THE MINUTE you get there!’ Every time, i’m rewarded with some lovely detail flashing up on my phone, be it the arrival of the beautifully expansive shaped windows for the ‘Toblerone’ rooms, the carefully chamfered edge on the OSB lighting groove or the precision installation of the milky grey larch cladding. It’s been a crazy month of summer juggling but here, at last, I share my photographic joy!

The Importance of Air Quality at the West Wittering Beach House

The Royal College of Physicians recently published the report ‘Every breath we take: The lifelong impact of air pollution’. The report highlights the often overlooked section of our environment – that of indoor space – and sets out factors which can cause can cause poor air quality in our homes and the effects of these pollutants. The report offers a number of major reform proposals setting out what must be done if we are to tackle the problem of air pollution.

Indoor air pollutants contribute to asthma as well as other respiratory conditions and diseases. Indoor pollutants include VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from offgassing building materials, paints and finishes, and furnishings; other toxic chemicals emitted from cleaning products and mould which grows on moist materials and surfaces.

At the West Wittering Beach House, we are addressing exposure to indoor air pollutants starting with the construction materials (source control) and ventilation.

We are using Coillte’s Zero-added formaldehyde Oriented Strand Board (Smartply OSB3) throughout the property. On the first floor we will use this material as a healthy design feature by cladding walls, floors and ceilings in these boards. OSB is an engineered wood-based panel consisting of wood strands bonded together. The strands are bonded in layers in different directions. The key to reducing air pollutants is to use a board such as this with a healthy binder.


Rechy Valais, Switzerland / Archi7. Photography: Thomas Jantscher

Ceramic floor and wall tiles will also be used extensively. Tiles are dense, hygienic and easy to clean and meaning that allergy causing microbes and mites won’t get a look in.

There will be enhanced automatic ventilation of the internal air within the building. The problem of internal air quality increases as homes become ever more air tight to meet the Government’s carbon emission targets. One of the key solutions is to ventilate (allow air in) from the warm areas like bedrooms and living rooms and out through the wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Air quality is improved by increasing the amount of outdoor air coming into the house, diluting concentrations of indoor pollutants, and pushing stale and damp indoor air out of the home.

 This new report from RCP backs up the findings of other recent research, including the BEAMA survey “My Health My Home” which revealed that over one third of UK homes are at an elevated or severe risk of having polluted indoor air.

More to follow as we select the appropriate materials and ventilation technologies.


Roof’s off Scaffolding’s Up

So, the old garage and extension have been taken down and rebuilt, the house has been stripped back and the ground floor internal walls are up. Most recently the scaffold has been erected and the roof taken off and new first floor created. Now we have protection from bad weather, it’s full steam ahead with the new roof and first floor internal walls. Meanwhile, in the studio, we are very busy finalising details for the exterior roof and wall finishes, insulation material, heating system, lighting plans, signing off the windows….

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Little Greene Colour Consultancy

We had a brilliant time choosing colours with Little Greene’s colour consultant yesterday. The appointment was quick and easy to arrange; we completed a briefing document in advance and supplied drawings and a Pinterest mood board so that we could get the most out of our session. The consultant came to our studio equipped with her suitcase full of swatches and with a great idea of what we were looking for, having taken the time to read through the information we supplied. In the one hour consultation, we were able to cover the entire ground floor, developing a coherent, well considered colour strategy, not only looking at walls and ceilings but also kitchen and wardrobe doors, feature timber clad walls, painted beds and a gorgeous glossy colour-pop oversized sliding door leading from the hallway to the dining room. We thoroughly enjoyed taking time out to plan such a fun aspect of the project and are so pleased to have used this service.



Domus Tiles – Battersea Showroom Launch Event

Last night we were at the launch event for the amazing new Domus Tiles showroom in Battersea. We have been recommending Domus to our clients for years (since we used them for the tiles throughout our own home in fact). Their new showroom is absolutely fabulous and the range of tiles is stunning – covering all the latest trends-  pastels, handmade aesthetic, rustic, pop, new geometrics, XXL format. Thank you Domus for a great evening and for creating the perfect showroom. Take a look at this film which gives a flavour of the Domus edit – I love them all!

Future Proofing the  West Wittering Beach House (Going beyond the Regulations)

Guest Blog by Bob Harris

There are two imminent regulations designed for the commercial rented and business sector.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) linked to a rented commercial buildings EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) and  regulation P272 requiring businesses to have electricity usage settled on a half-hourly basis.

So what’s the big issue?

Commercial rented buildings with an EPC of F or G will be banned from the commercial rental market from 2018 and businesses may need to change their meters.

The aim is to create an entirely new ‘smart energy’ market.

I believe there is a good chance that regulations like this are likely to also come to the private sector.

At the West Wittering Beach House we are future proofing our development by installing Economy 7- 10 electricity meters (these meters can be changed to half-hourly meters at a later date) linked to 7Kwh’s of battery storage.

So what’s brilliant about this?

Well we can run the West Wittering Beach House and an electric car on almost half price electricity – 24hrs – 7 days a week – 365  days a year.

Where can you buy petrol for half price?

For more information:

Leigh Bowen – Architect of the ‘West Wittering Beach House’ and Bob Harris will be presenting at the Voltimum Smart Tech Live conference 27th May central London. see:

The key note speaker is Jerry Hamilton of Tesla UK who will describe his vision of the future and how energy storage will be pivotal to the radical changes in the next few years.

West Wittering Beach House at Smart Tech Live 2016

We are excited to be guest speakers at Smart Tech Live 2016. We will be talking about the LED lighting to be used throughout the West Wittering Beach House project. The event takes place on Friday 27th May at The Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden, London.


OSRAM bring us a case study of the latest technologies that are being used to create a super, energy efficient property – known as Low Impact Housing.

Presented by Bob Harris and Leigh Bowen, the talk will cover the five reasons why LEDs are used, thermal mass and how it works, special heating systems, and creating a healthy environment.
Sponsored by OSRAM

Bungalow – from the Hindi ‘bangla’

An Indian tea plantation bungalow in the southern state of Kerala

 Interesting BBC Magazine article today about why Britain has stopped building bungalows.

Here’s an extract…

Bungalow, from the Hindi word “bangla”, meaning “belonging to Bengal”, was used to described detached cottages built for early European settlers in India. They gained an association with a healthy outdoor lifestyle among the Raj, many of whom returned to the UK, extolling their charms.The first development including houses sold as “bungalows” in the UK opened in Westgate, on the north coast of Kent, in 1869. The following year, a bigger project started at nearby Birchington. These were sold as getaways for wealthy Londoners.

The full article is here.

Ecobuild 2016

ecobuild 2016

We’re at Excel today for Ecobuild 2016. Always such a brilliant place to discover new building materials and also have the opportunity to meet with a wide variety of industry professionals all under one roof. We’re keen to firm up on roofing materials and windows at the moment so this exhibition is perfectly timed for us!

Osram LED lights forever!

Today is a great day for us, we’re going live with our partnership with Osram & Voltimum. We’re excited that the West Wittering Beach House lighting installation will use OSRAM LED light sources throughout – chosen for their long life, good light, energy saving, and all the other benefits that LEDs confer. LED lighting is to be employed for general, mood and task lighting.

We will also be using OSRAM’s innovative connected lighting system, Lightify. We chose this primarily for its colour and brightness changing mood effects and we’ll be using it for specific applications, such as mood and task lighting.