Cumbrian building firm Carrock Homes Ltd, based near Penrith, have scooped the award for the best example of sustainable development at this year’s Federation of Master Builders National Master Builder Awards, for the conversion of a derelict, listed cruck barn into an amazing energy efficient family home.
TV presenter and all-round building enthusiast Nick Knowles announced the winners to the delight of the team from Carrock Homes, during the ceremony held online on September 24th.
The awards recognise building excellence, quality craftsmanship, and exceptional customer service, and are run by the Federation of Master Builders, the largest trade association in the UK construction sector which is this year celebrating its 80th anniversary.
The development required use of heritage techniques including lime hemp plasters and ancient joinery craftwork, combined with modern technologies which boosted its green credentials and helped the home achieve a coveted EPC A rating.
Carrock installed a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) system, air source heating linked to underfloor heating, and sustainable drainage to create a more sustainable home for their clients, merging these seamlessly with the historic character of the building. The whole barn required stabilising before rebuilding took place and the oak cruck frame, which had become severely worm eaten, needed extensive repairs using salvaged timbers.
Carrock Homes, whose vision was praised by their clients, wanted to complement the surrounding environment but also bring in some modernity with a contemporary extension providing stunning views of the Lake District National Park. The build required extensive use of salvage and second-hand materials which were sourced locally, further enhancing the home’s sustainable character.
Malcolm Iredale, of Carrock Homes Ltd, said: “It means everything – to the lads and the skilled craftsmen that we employ, and the win will do us a lot of good. It’s our strength, my passion is old buildings and doing them up. So to get this award is everything to us. We feel very privileged to win this category; it’s phenomenal.”
National judge in this category, Shaun Spiers, Executive Director of the Green Alliance, said: “The reuse of materials was extremely impressive, as was the use of renewable energy and insultation. This scored really highly as an ultra-sustainable building based on an old and not terribly energy efficient barn.”
Lynne Sullivan, from the Green Construction Board, who also judged this category, commented: “It’s a very thorough going restoration, so inherently sustainable to bring the structure into reuse…We were very impressed that it was done in such an integrated and stylish way.”
John Ingham, Environment Editor of the Daily Express, noted: “Every one of the entries was of a very high standard, but we were able to agree quite quickly on the winner because this Cumbrian restoration and retrofit just stood out.”
The Sustainability Award Judges also awarded East Sussex-based Mitchells Construction & Development Ltd a Highly Commended in this category for their environmentally friendly home located on a nature reserve.