An eco-friendly countryside build

Jane and Ian McClintock’s sustainable build project has created a home that suits them down to a tee, from their sustainable values to their love of birds

eco self build

 More often than not, a new-build house project is a lifetime ambition. That was certainly the case for Jane and Ian McClintock, who bought the plot of land they would eventually build on more than twenty years ago. ‘Palgrave [in Suffolk] is the village I was raised in and I always knew it was where I wanted to end up,’ explains Jane.

eco real home

 ‘Ian and I had a long-held dream that we would build here. I’ve been planning it all my life.’ In 2010, as the couple wound down towards retirement, the time felt right to create their home, complete with an adjoining studio for Jane, an artist.

They moved into the plot’s existing farmhouse (which had been let out) and contacted Mole Architects. ‘We didn’t shop around at all,’ says Jane. ‘We just went with our gut instinct.’ And that instinct was right: together with the contractor, Gary Hayes at Willow Builders, Mole Architects ensured that everything happened on schedule.

eco build project

 In fact, the build ran so smoothly that Ian and Jane moved into their new home just 11 months after work began. The design posed a number of challenges, not least because of strict planning regulations.

Ian and Jane’s plot came with a sixteenth century farmhouse – which they planned to sell once the project was completed – and the new property couldn’t be taller or bulkier than the existing one. Green-belt restrictions also confined it to one corner of the plot, bringing it close to the original farmhouse.

While its location was unavoidable, however, the careful orientation of the new-build means that most of its sweeping views are of the surrounding landscape, rather than the neighbouring building.

To read the full article, pick up the November/ December 2016 issue of The Selfbuilder, out on November 7th 2016.

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