Sustainability makes sense

PUBLISHED: 17:35 06 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:04 20 May 2015

Knowle House

Knowle House


Promotional feature: When Hayward Smart Architects (HSA) were given the opportunity to design an energy-efficient home in a scenic location, they set out to create something special.

Knowle HouseKnowle House

After owning a 400-year-old Listed farmhouse, with maintenance issues and high running costs, the clients were excited by the prospect of living in a brand new home designed to meet their individual needs. They bought a 1930s bungalow and enlisted the help of HSA to gain permission for a replacement dwelling.

Knowle House is a striking contemporary house, set in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with far-reaching views across Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and south Warwickshire. It has been carefully designed to sit comfortably in the landscape, with living spaces upstairs and sleeping below, excavated into the sloping site. The view is exploited by a 6.5m wide glazed sliding screen, which gives access to a balcony. Outside, the use of natural dry stone walling (using stone recycled from the original building) and cedar weatherboarding (allowed to silver naturally) ensures that it blends into the landscape.

The clients were keen to invest in new technology that would make the house economic in the long term.

Client Julie Smart said: “Part of our motivation in creating an eco-friendly house was to do our bit for the environment but the main reason was because it makes financial sense.

Knowle HouseKnowle House

“Hayward Smart advised on the installation of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity and provide energy for an air source heat pump, underfloor heating and whole house ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR). We now receive payments for electricity generated though the Feed-in Tariff scheme (FIT) and as part of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Rainwater is harvested to provide water for the toilets and washing machine as well as the garden.”

Knowle House has achieved the highest energy rating ‘A’, which is proof that innovation and visually exciting design can go hand in hand with sustainability.


For further information on this project and advice on how to cut your energy bills call Hayward Smart Architects on 01608 661000, or email

Knowle HouseKnowle House

You can also visit the HSA website:

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