15 Lloyd Close

Two architects meant twice the amount of eco features on the Hove Park abode of husband and wife team Mark Pellant and Abi Torr, both from Koru Architects, who are now close to completing their new environmentally friendly family home.

Oak cladding and a distinctive zinc roof with matching zinc drainpipes only hint at the building’s sustainable credentials. There is much more hidden away. Features include piled foundations, a timber frame, lime render and a giant rainwater tank beneath the rear patio. An array of solar panels – 12 photovoltaic, 3 hot water – forms a large portion of the roof at the back of the building.

The split-level interior is defined by interesting spaces, quality joinery and an abundance of light. The use of shadow gaps instead of architraves throughout is a particularly nice touch and there are no skirting boards. The house feels much larger than it first appears and there are in fact three bedrooms and one large study upstairs. The clever use of the roof space may well help in this regard – as do acres of bright white walls.

Mark and Abi bought the plot around four years ago which consisted of a large portion of the garden of a house on Shirley Road. As the plot has a proper frontage on Lloyd Close, I can just about relax my usual strict views on back garden development as it feels like it was meant to be. Funnily enough, its own garden (by Incredible Gardens) is well on its way to becoming a highlight in its own right. Evergreen magnolia, silver birch, fig, apple, pear and plum trees have already been planted and a hole for a pond has already been dug.

Due to our draconian approach to sustainable design and good architecture generally in this country, this remarkable structure may well be considered futuristic for many years to come. But four huge York stone slabs from an old mill leading from the pavement to the front door remind us that good ideas are timeless – and that’s why one day, in the not too distant future I hope, many more people will warm (in both senses of the word) to the idea of sustainability.

For those interested in making sensible changes to their homes, several local sustainable refurbishment projects will be showcased on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st October as part of Energy Saving Week. See www.ecoopenhouses.org for details.