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BBM wins approval for home built from remains of burnt-down predecessor

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The South Downs National Park Authority has approved a ‘circular economy’ home by BBM Sustainable Design which reuses material from a burnt-down house on a site in East Sussex

The authority granted planning permission to the practice’s Streat Hill Farmhouse near Plumpton – a 600m2 new-build house which will replace a 1950s dwelling destroyed by fire two years ago.

The scheme, which claims to be the highest home in the national park, will overlook the South Downs Way and ‘sit in harmony with the surrounding downlands’, according to the practice.

BBM said only single-storey pitched roof forms would be visible from the Downs.

Flat roofs will be covered in an organic hay-based meadow roof sown with seeds from the local area. Ground-floor accommodation ‘grades into the existing topography and vanishes into the landscape’.

BBM co-founder and project lead Duncan Baker-Brown said: ‘The rebuilding of Streat Hill Farm House is a huge opportunity for us to employ many of the closed-loop, circular, ideas that architects and designers were discussing with us at the recent Waste Zone symposium we curated at FutureBuild.

‘We are hoping that the construction process will use a lot less new materials than normal by reusing locally sourced existing resources.’

Streathill site plan bbm

Streathill site plan bbm

BBM conducted a resource mapping exercise to determine which construction materials could be sourced close to the site from either waste or renewable sources.

The remains of the existing house will be carefully deconstructed, with any re-usable materials kept on site.

Fire-damaged masonry will be crushed and used as aggregate in new floor tiles or as rubble to fill gabion walls. Any remaining low-grade rubble will be crushed for use as hardcore below the slab.

New Chailey stock bricks will be sourced locally, as will the sweet-chestnut timber cladding. The new house will be detailed to ensure that wherever possible the building is a ‘material bank’ for future developments.

Streat Hill Farmhouse is designed with passive energy design strategies to help achieve off-grid living.

Streathill onfire

Original house on fire

Original house on fire

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