Our range of micro-buildings came about when we investigated an alternative solution to create small dwellings that could easily be adapted to suit a wide variety of uses, partly due to the high cost and limited options available in British housing. And so we created “sheds for living”, which was then later re-branded as “dwelle”.
It was paramount that the concept incorporated all of the same criteria that we had developed for our eco- housing. However, the key difference between the one-off bespoke projects and our dwelle.ings, is that we have the opportunity to continually develop and improve their design.
The compact nature of a dwelle.ing means it treads lightly upon the environment. Each building achieves good levels of sustainability in a number of areas, both in construction and in operation. Big dwelle.ing could achieve all mandatory requirements for Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes for materials, waste, water and energy.
Although the main building fabric and specification is fixed to ensure the building can be as environmentally sustainable as possible, the purchase options include a variety of renewable energy systems to potentially make it zero carbon.
An inner “sleeve” has been designed to incorporate plenty of storage space, and to contribute to the buildings excellent thermal performance. The (FSC Certified) timber framed walls, floor and roof are insulated using cellulose fibre (extracted from 100% recycled newspapers). The windows are all double glazed, and the building is heated by electric underfloor heating with the option of a real wood burning fireplace.
We also want to ensure the living environment is a healthy environment. Our heating and ventilation (HVAC) systems and the materials and finishes throughout the house promote healthy living. We’ve researched finishes and treatments and determined whether there are any VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) or other substances that can off-gas into the home. Where possible we will only specify internal finishes that meet the Allergy UK’s Seal of Approval, that assess products which restrict, reduce or remove allergens from the environment of the allergy sufferer.
The design of the internal accommodation is equally sustainable from a longevity point of view, being able to easily adapt to a changing families requirements, and potentially meeting Lifetime Home standards.
Being so adaptable, it’s use can also change. For example, it could be temporary living accommodation during a self-build project, and then used as a home office or guest house once complete. It could then revert back to being a first-time home for a families children.