Derelict garages become innovative eco houses

From left: Scott Currie (Liam Russell Architects), Gary Winslow (P&R Homes) and Mark Tuppen (Chandlers Building Supplies)
From left: Scott Currie (Liam Russell Architects), Gary Winslow (P&R Homes) and Mark Tuppen (Chandlers Building Supplies)

A PIONEERING eco home development has been completed in Eastbourne on the site of a former eyesore.

The first home at Chandlers Mews in Roselands Avenue was unveiled this week. Liam Russell Architects was behind the design of the project, the aim of which was to produce a development consisting of affordable and sustainable homes.

The development site was previously a set of 14 derelict garages, considered a nuisance and an eyesore by neighbouring home owners and the local council.

Developers said that due to the nature and size of the site, the redevelopment was going to be complex and as such required a bespoke solution.

Chandlers from Ringmer was keen to lead the way in the eco home movement, perceiving that sustainable homes were in short supply yet essential to both the preservation and future of home construction.

The bespoke aspect of the project meant that all those involved faced a steep learning curve. In order to enable the construction of the eco homes, Chandlers had to create a brand new supplier network to enable the purchase of the required materials.

To ensure that Chandlers were able to provide the best solution they carried out extensive research into eco materials plus developed new relationships to create the best possible outcome.

One of the key aspects of the eco homes is that the houses have curved roofs which are covered in an organic green material called sedum, which gives the impression of a grass roof and the neighbouring houses seem to have an outlook over green hills rather than normal red tiles.

One of the many advantages of sedum is the water retention. Any excess water which discharges can be harvested in water butts and used to water gardens, wash cars and so on. Sedum has very high insulation qualities as well as its beautiful green look, which changes colour and texture with the seasons.

There are also two solar panels on each house which serve to assist in the heating of the hot water used in the houses, thus reducing the gas and electricity bills.

Richard Skinner, Chandlers’ commercial director, said, “We have been pleased to work closely with P&R Homes on the Eastbourne project. Sustainable eco homes are increasingly the future of construction – this project has been a learning process for us and we are committed to the use of sustainable building materials in future. We are proud that P&R has chosen to name the development after us.”

The development consists of five brand new homes, one detached and two pairs of semis.