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STARTING from SCRATCH

When David Miers and Monika Rese set out to build their dream home in the Kent countryside, their goal was to create a lowenergy, zero-bills property
PHOTOS ALISON HAMMOND

When David Miers and his wife Monika Rese decided to return to the UK after several years living in Cologne, they set themselves an ambitious target: to build a sustainable house that wouldn’t have utility bills. While such properties are common in Germany, the couple soon discovered that they’re not so plentiful in the UK.

After a year searching for their dream eco home, which needed to offer high ceilings, plenty of light and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) A rating, David and Monika were forced to accept that suitable existing properties were few and far between. It was at this point they realised that they’d have to take matters into their own hands and build a house themselves.

Tracking down land

After searching for a suitable plot across South East England, David and Monika eventually discovered a site close to the village of Stelling Minnis, between Canterbury and Folkestone. The location was ideal for them, situated midway between the couple’s respective families who were living in Cologne and North Wales.

Sleek, minimal cabinetry with contemporary ironmongery enhances the culinary zone’s modern aesthetic
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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Smart homes for every budget - Timber frame FAQ - Choosing outbuildings - How to maximise your mortgage chances - Guide to finding land