Eco-experimental Weston home awarded green accolade

Weston Homes has been acknowledged by What House? for the sustainable design of its experimental eco-home in Chigwell, Essex, winning silver in the Best Sustainable Development category.

The prestigious industry accolade was awarded after judges were impressed by the housebuilders’ green efforts to ensure that The Retreat, a stunning four bedroom experimental eco-house, was designed to help minimise its impact on the environment.

Weston Homes is working to shape the low carbon, sustainable communities of tomorrow and readily explores opportunities to utilise the latest building technologies available.

Bob Weston, Managing Director and Founder of Weston Homes, comments: “We are very pleased to reap the rewards of our hard work and to be recognised by What House? with this award. Eco-homes don’t need to be dull or complicated; they just need to be optimised to make the most of building materials and clever design.”

Heating, hot water and comfort cooling for The Retreat is provided by renewable energy via a ground source heat pump and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery via an Awaduct heat exchanger, which is installed around the footprint of the building and changes the temperature of the air entering the house as it travels through the pipes that are buried in the ground. To minimise the need for electricity, rooms have also been designed to produce excellent daylight exposure and a view of the sky.

Design features of The Retreat are incorporated towards the Lifetime Homes Standard, and include level access and thresholds, wide doors and corridors, provision for a stair lift, accessible controls and accessible bathroom. Half of the home is built underground reducing heat loss through the walls. The walls above ground are constructed from porotherm multi-chamber clay blocks by Weinerberger – one of the lowest embodied energy clay blocks providing high levels of insulation for both heat and sound. The development makes use of responsibly sourced materials and the best thermal materials on the market.

The ground floor has an entrance leading to the kitchen with a full range of appliances including a Miele oven, microwave, coffee maker and integrated dishwasher, dining room and bathroom, and a study/fifth bedroom and lounge.

The basement provides a master bedroom with built-in bed and matching walk-in wardrobe and en suite bathroom with twin basins, bath and shower room. A lightwell in the garden above floods the area with natural light.

The first floor provides three bedrooms which all come with fitted wardrobes and one en suite, as well as a shower room. The Retreat also includes a large patio area within a secluded courtyard style area and the ecological value of the development has been enhanced with native planting, bird and bat boxes.

The Retreat also boasts a gym, sauna, cinema and games room, as well and extensive barbeque area. The home cinema offers the latest Samsung 60” 3D technology and incorporates surround sound delivered through discreet ceiling and wall speakers.

For more information on other Weston Homes developments, please visit or call the sales & marketing suite on 0208 281 2785

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