LABC Building Excellence Awards 2020 Shortlisted

Barclay Firth are delighted to announce their shortlisting for the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2020 in the category of ‘Best Change of use to an Existing Dwelling.’

This award shortlisting refers to ‘Upper Stubbing’s, a Grade II listed, circa. 1642 detached farmhouse in West Yorkshire which needed complete internal and external renovation.

The project started in early 2019 with in-depth discussions with the elderly sole owner on how he would like his property to look and feel.  The homeowner was keen to update the property to modern standards and to future proof for old age in terms of any potential mobility and security issues.

Careful design, drawings and specifications then followed initial discussions and surveys, which showed a complete design renovation, a new plumbing system, electrics, underfloor heating, a new kitchen and bathrooms (including an en-suite with wheel chair access to a walk in shower), space for a lift, access for ramps,  a rear extension, new double glazed windows and a new glazed conservatory for beautiful views over the garden.

Externally, security was added including a panic system and CCTV with a 360-degree recording device and a separate fully fitted annex was added to cater for a potential full time, live in Carer in future.

The site team and LABC building control team worked well at every step of the project and this helped to overcome potential obstacles, starting with the Grade II listing of the property and all the restrictions that this entailed.

Some existing drainage ran under part of the house and Barclay Firth had to find out where it ran without disturbing the existing house, using remote controlled cameras.  They then re-designed the system using existing where possible, down a steep hill side into the existing septic tank sited well below the house.  The new design allowed for easy accessibility and cleaning/maintenance.  The Building Control Officer worked closely with Barclay Firth on this and his suggested route minimized civil engineering work and all associated costs.

The homeowner required an extension over an existing single storey part of the house and the dilemma was how to check the foundations without disturbing the existing single storey section.  The Building Control Officer stipulated reinforcement ideas and solutions to check the foundations without any risk to the existing foundations and his role was instrumental in overcoming the initial dilemma.

A bio-mass wood pellet boiler was purchased using RHI system (Renewable Heat Incentive) and installed with under floor heating and NEST SMART thermostats throughout the house.  In total there are now five different zones (three lots of underfloor heating, downstairs and upstairs zones) to make the house overall much more energy efficient.

The existing house was extremely inefficient in terms of thermal insulation and air tightness.  Barclay Firth followed Up-to-date LABC standards.  This included installing modern insulation where possible, particularly in newly build sections of wall and floor.  Insulation of modern double-glazed window units and well-fitting effective door seals.

Due in large part to the above measures, the energy assessment undertaken on this property has projected a 67% increase in energy efficiency.  In the 12 months following practical completion of the project, the annual heating bill alone has reduced by £2000.

Hear what Barclay Firth Architectural Designer & Project Manager, Michelle Gaffaney, had to say about this project and the news of being shortlisted for the LABC Building Excellence Awards 2020...

“…Our scope was to update and future proof a Grade II listed 1642 build farmhouse that had not been touched in years.  Our innovation came from our design based on getting to know the homeowner and his requirements.  We used our knowledge and experience to offer smart solutions to problems and offered the owner various options where applicable.  Together, the design came together within an agreed budget and Barclay Firth were left to gain the necessary permits/certification, to hand pick their build teams and to put together a construction timing plan which suited all parties.  It was a very interesting project; I am delighted with the result and this award shortlisting is testament to all the hard work and great teamwork that made this project a success….”

Creative design included hand crafted ledged and braced oak doors to match the existing antique doors, replicating old beams and posts within house using reclaimed oak and installing handmade, painted oak kitchen units.

Most of the oak was sourced from the original house (some beams from a former textile mill in Bradford which was demolished) and others were sourced from the local area and used for new beams and posts within the house and for the staircase.   The old roof timbers, which had been removed and stored in a shed for 30 years, were found on site and then used to manufacture the stairs spindles.

Beautiful bookcases were made from the old original worktops from the Bradford Royal infirmary and repurposed as stunning bookcases in the library.

The rear house extension was built from reclaimed stone sourced locally and stone found in the garden from early demolitions on site, dating back to the 1960’s.

Overall, much of the material was reused where possible and recreated to offer stunning features throughout the home.

This project was delivered on time and on budget. The client was very happy with the result and feels secure in the knowledge that he never needs to leave his home of over 40 years.  The completion date was December 2019.

The winner of the LABC Building Excellence Award 2020 for 'Change of use to an Existing Dwelling' will be announced on 22nd September 2020.

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