Oakwood House is Ted Stevens and Catherine Moore's self-build home, located in Gloucestershire. The house is contemporary in design, clad in timber and set in a wooded area. It also rests within the green belt and is near both a nature reserve and an area managed by Woodland Trust.
The construction process revolved around a design purposed to fit with the woodland setting. Ted, who is also chairman of the National Self Build Association, stated it was 'a truly green and sustainable structure'. To help with the its implementation, architects Smith Roberts of Wootton-under-Edge were brought along, as Ted had acknowledged their 'long track record of designing modern buildings that related well to the landscape'. Construction entailed the use of locally sourced materials, which included the rough sawn oak needed for elevations. The house was structured upon single-skin heavyweight concrete blockwork, which underwent cladding of 100 millimetres of insulation. The walls and ground floor were also formed with high insulation levels. The roof was curved and coated with zinc.
What was the final product? A lovely house that becomes a warm and cosy dwelling on sunny days, even during mid-winter. The concrete structural floors retain the absorbed heat, and the walls do the same through solar energy collected from the extensive glazing. The windows are not only double-glazed but also, they're fitted with reflective films enabling them to trap in more warmth. A ground source heat pump serves as the main source of heating for the home. It's responsible for preheating the tap water to about 40 degrees Celsius. Also, the kitchen and bathrooms are linked to an immersion heater, which can further increase their temperature.
The surrounding environment makes the home even more serene. Ponds, patches of wild flower and woodland areas have been retained. The garden just outside the house also benefits from irrigation through the roof-trapped rainwater collected in a 10,000-litre tank, which is situated beneath a path near the bridge.
Ted and Catherine's home incorporates an upside-down layout, with the kitchen, dining room, main lounge and master bedroom on the top floor and an office space and two bedrooms located below. It can be assumed those bedrooms on the ground level are for guests. Wouldn't it be nice to add the extra convenience of a home elevator?Air powered elevators are products of today's cutting-edge technology and machinery. Air pressure and just a small amount of electricity are required for every ascent, while gravity and air pressure handle descents. They're not only easier and safer to ride than taking the stairs. They're energy efficient and environment-friendly as well, not relying on pistons, cables or harmful substances to be assembled or serviced. In fact, servicing is required just every four or five years, in which only the main seal needs replacing. Imagine how hassle-free it would be riding one of them? It would make those frequent trips to and from the office, kitchen or bathroom far easier and smoother. You won't have to tire your feet out. That's why these lifts are highly recommended for houses, especially big, multi-level ones. They'll be the most useful decorations you could have at home.