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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Low-impact ECO HOME

Setting out to build a healthy and energy-efficient property, Nicola Jones and Paul Rea have created a comfortable, awardwinning 21st century home

Patience is always a virtue when it comes to self building, and this was certainly the case for Paul Rea and Nicola Jones, whose desire to create a new sustainable home took 13 years to come to fruition. “We were positioned in a hamlet but found our lives centred on the village nearby, which had all the facilities we needed and was where most of our friends were,” says Paul. “We decided to find a plot there, somewhere with a larger garden. However, every time we looked for a site at auction or through an agent, there was always a developer who was prepared to pay more to put multiple dwellings there instead of one self built home. After 10 years we were finally able to buy this patch of land; the recession meant developers had less money available.”

With their combined experience and interest in sustainable transport and renewable energy, Paul and Nicola were determined for their new abode to be as low-impact and energy efficient as possible. “We’d made all the environmental improvements we could to our previous property, and wanted to take our ideas to a new house to prove they could be achieved,” says Paul. “We hadn’t self built before, but I’d added an extension, using the skills of friends.”

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About Build It

Inside the October edition of Build It magazine: - Smart Homes special: How tech can simplify your lifestyle - Beginner's guide to winning planning permission - Extension costs guide - Passivhaus: Does it make sense for eco renovations? - How to knock through walls & open up space - Building contracts explained - Underloor heating innovations ... and more!