ARCO2 Architects St Minver Wadebridge Cornwall

The Parish of St.Minver is divided into St Minver Highlands and St.Minver Lowlands.  The Highlands includes Polzeath, New Polzeath, St.Minver Village and Tredrizzick.  The Lowlands includes Trebetherick, Rock, Porthilly and Pityme.  The Neighbourhood Development Plan released in 2017 was developed by the Highlands, Lowlands and the community, it remains relevant until 2030.  The parishes include Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Marine Conservation Zones.

Arco2 Director Ian was christened and married at St.Menefreda church which has an iconic twisted spire and parts dating back to the 12th century.  Make sure you visit the church and this lovely village if you are in the area.

As Architects working along the Camel Estuary and the coastline, the majority of our projects need to demonstrate proposed visual impact upon the landscape, the built environment and the effect upon designated areas such as AONB’s.  The recently completed project named Waterhouse (pictured above) is a good example of how a unique modern building can be designed to complement the landscape within an AONB.  When viewed from the Camel Trail, the building is sited below a Grade II Listed dis-used Windmill which is sited on the brow of a hill within a field some 230 metres above the site.  The field boundary and site boundary have established hedgerows forming a dark horizontal band when viewed against a green field below and a light-coloured field above.  In order to blend the proposal into the landscape a single storey linear form with dark cladding and large overhang to glazed areas was conceived.  This stealthy concept allows the new building to visually merge with the dark hedgerow and therefore not detract from the di-used windmillwere presented to the Parish Council at pre-application stage and the proposal was supported by the Parish Council at both pre-application, planning stage and by the case officer.  Unfortunately, this replacement dwelling will be appreciated by few as it is accessed via a quiet minor road and has been designed to be very sympathetic when viewed from the Camel Trail.  The house features a twin skin timber frame to enable a super insulated breathable structure.  The walls are insulated with recycled newspaper insulation.  The fabric has been designed to be air-tight to reduce heat loss and draughts.  Glazing and rooflights are triple glazed to minimise heat loss. The hot water and heating are provided by a ground source heat pump (GSHP) which has ground loops buried in the field below, with heat distributed throughout via underfloor heating.  The humidity is moderated by a mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) system which recovers the heat from extracted air and provides filtered fresh air throughout the house. Provision has been made for photovoltaic collectors which will be sited on the flat roof.  The rest of the roof is covered with wildflowers helping to disguise the building within the landscape when viewed from the road.  The cladding is locally grown Larch.  The house was constructed by ADD Sustainable Construction.

Client Testimonial: “the whole project has been a complete success. From the initial concept process, we went very quickly through planning and onto the detailed design stages. At all times, through both design and build, the team has been a pleasure to work with and we now have an amazing, future proof house. Highly recommended”

Mrs Jones

ARCO2 designed low energy house St Minver Cornwall

This rural low energy house just past Sharps Brewery in St.Minver is another project that Arco2 have had the pleasure of designing based upon the Denby Dale Passive House construction method. Using a traditional cavity blockwork construction, with some key differences. The cavity is 300mm wide and insulated with a specialist full fill mineral wool, specialist structurally insulated cavity closers to allow fixing of windows and eliminate cold bridging. Specialist basalt wall ties again to reduce cold bridging, under slab XPS insulation and below DPC rigid XPS insulation to reduce water retention and improve thermal performance, wall plates to posi-joist floors to allow services through joists with sand cement parge coat behind to create an air tight barrier, specialist air tightness tapes and gaskets to prevent air leakage and draughts. The building achieved an air pressure test result of 0.67, which is very impressive. The roof uses I-joists to minimise cold bridges and recycled newspaper insulation. Triple glazed windows, doors and rooflights provide very low U-values, an MVHR system recovers heat and provides fresh air, whilst the air source heat pump (ASHP) provides all of the hot water and heating demand distributed via underfloor systems. All lighting is 100% LED to reduce energy consumption. The house design was inspired by Velidhu another project by Arco2, however, with very different site forces culminating in a bespoke property taking advantage of the panoramic countryside views and distant coastal views from the roof top terrace. The house maintains a very good temperature and healthy living environment all year round and requires very minimal heating during the winter.
Although the project was designed by Arco2 Architects, the project was constructed by local contractors who had no previous experience working with low energy building techniques but worked seamlessly together to create this stunning build.

Client Testimonial: “Very satisfied with the support from start to finish. Great team to work with and felt in safe hands all the way through the project. Great design!”
Mr & Mrs Brown