Wiltshire Publications

Couple’s finished ‘eco house’ to feature on TV show

AWESTBURYcouple’s dream ‘eco’ home was recently completed as part of Channel 4’s ‘Building the Dream’ architectural programme, and the project will be shown on television in June.

Vince and Jackie Macey, who live in Westbury Leigh, were granted planning permission for the ambitious ‘eco house’ in 2012 and moved into the completed house a month ago. The innovative green design will mean the Maceys will have no household electricity bills and the house will even generate money by contributing electricity to the national grid.

“We moved in on Friday 13th and the house was flooded!” said electrician Vince who wired the house himself. “Since that was mopped up we’ve been incredibly happy with the house, and I don’t understand why all houses aren’t built to be this efficient. It even smells nice!

“My favourite part is the open plan building and the huge reduction in our bills. It’s a really lovely environment to live in. Other than using the wood burner a couple of times, we haven’t had to use the heating once – the house stays at a constant twenty degrees.

“We had a few problems with steelwork during building and went considerably over budget, but I’m very pleased with how it has turned out.

“The house cost about £48,000 more than a standard three-bed, but we’re hoping to completely eradicate household bills and will get compensation from the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, so the build will pay for itself in time.

“I was inspired to build the house after seeing bad practise all through the building trade. In a lot of cases I found myself asking why more insulation isn’t used in construction, and why only the minimum requirement of energy efficient fittings is installed.

“I would definitely encourage people to invest in energy efficient products. They reduce bills a huge amount, and are much better for the environment.”

The three bedroom house has timber-framed triple-glazed windows and doors, and the exterior is cedar clad. It has high standard insulation, solar panels, and a solar thermal system to heat water. A special system ventilates the property while retaining the heat, and all lighting is provided by efficient LED lights.  All appliances in the house are AAA rated, and rainwater is collected on the roof for use inside.

The house will feature on episode seven of ‘Building the Dream’ with architect Charlie Luxton, shown on More4, Tuesday 2nd June at 9pm.

Vince said, “Having a film crew around was strange for a while; they made about 12 visits and I think Jackie found it unnerving, but you do get used to it and just carry on as normal.”