labc awards regional finalist 2018
  • Extension, disabled adaptations and remodelling of 200-year-old cottage
  • Winner of a Highly Commended award at the 2018 Northern LABC Awards
  • Fabric upgrades raised the EPC energy rating from Band F to Band C
  • Features 4.2kW of PV and Tesla Powerwall 2 battery

This project involved building a 3-storey extension to an existing 200-year old semi-detached cottage in a Conservation Area plus internal adaptations in order to make the property fully accessible for a potential wheelchair user. The layout of the property on the two upper floors was cramped, with small rooms, narrow doors and a narrow, steep staircase from the rear entrance door

Before the adaptation project, the steep rear driveway was finished with loose gravel with a carport and informal shrub beds. The front garden also contains shrub beds and a steep, stepped path up to the main road. The access into the property and the circulation around it was totally unsuitable for a wheelchair user or those with mobility impairments. The house is 2-storey at the front and 3-storey at the rear. The attached single garage had heavy doors and no direct connection into the house

The construction phase of the project was started in March 2017 and was completed in Nov 2017

The property is owned by the clients, one of whom contracted MS in 2012. Sale of another property enabled a project to be developed to provide them with an extension and internal adaptations to produce an accessible home for their future. The clients originally considered moving but they love their home and the surrounding countryside so decided to adapt what they already owned

Chantmarle Front elevation as existing
Front elevation as existing

Demolition of the existing garage generated walling stone and stone roof slates for recycling but it also revealed that the existing gable end of the cottage had very poor foundations. Mass concrete underpinning of the gable wall delayed the project and increased costs but it enabled excavations to be executed down to a lower floor level for the new garage. This produced sufficient headroom in the garage to allow the two upper floors of the extension to line with the floors in the existing house

In constructing the 3-storey extension in matching stone, the contractors had to cope with a steeply sloping, cramped site, bad weather in the early stages and also allow the clients to remain in their home for the duration of the works. This involved setting up a temporary kitchen and a huge amount of co-operation between the clients and the contractor, plus not upsetting the bats in the roof!

The most challenging element of the design (and the most contentious with the Planners) was the incorporation of a 3-storey lift to enable a wheelchair user to travel easily between the garage, the lounge and the main bedroom. This was a key part of the design and has been successfully executed

The internal layout has been extensively remodelled at the two upper levels to make almost all of the property wheelchair accessible with the forming of new openings and widening of doors. The new Main Bedroom in the extension features an en-suite, accessible Shower & WC with potential future ceiling track hoisting between the rooms. The former Lounge has become the Dining Room, the former Dining Room has become the Kitchen and the former Kitchen an extra accessible WC

Chantmarle Front elevation on completion
Front elevation on completion

Vehicular and pedestrian access has been improved by replacing the gravel driveway and parking area with new concrete block paving providing ramped access from the road at the rear and level access into the garage. The garage has a remote-controlled roller shutter door for ease of access

As the clients have an electric car, an integral pert of the design was the addition of 4.2kW of photovoltaic panels on the south-facing roof of the existing house. The removal of the stone rood slates from behind the PV panels generated enough slates (plus those from the old garage) to cover the roof of the new extension and lift shaft. The PV panels were connected to a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery pack which enables the house and electric car to run on solar power most of the time

Other energy conservation measures also include 400mm fully-filled cavity walls in the extension, additional roof insulation in the main house, triple-glazed windows plus a new, oil-fired boiler. All lighting has been replaced with LED fittings and new appliances are all A-rated for energy use. As a result, the EPC energy demand rating has been raised from a poor Band F to a very good Band C

In June 2018 at The Hilton Gateshead, the project won a ‘Highly Commended’ award at the Northern LABC Building Excellence Awards in the ‘Best Extension or Alteration to an Existing Home’ category

Chantmarle Rear elevation on completion
Rear elevation on completion

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