In 2010, we worked alongside Peter Kent Architects to design the foundations for Featherbrook House in Potterne. The project incorporates cutting-edge, sustainable construction measures and was approved with architectural merit by the local authority planning department. The site, surrounded by trees, had difficult ground conditions and our challenge was to design sustainable, economic foundations in keeping with the rest of the project. The house consists of two linked buildings; the family home and an office building to accommodate an architectural practice. Both buildings are of timber framed construction with very high levels of insulation, incorporating solar thermal panels, an air to water heat source pump, rain and grey water recycling and passive solar design. There are two further storage and workshop buildings, comprising of steel framed outbuildings with green sedum roofs and photo-voltaic panels generate most of the electricity required for the site.
The foundations were designed using loads supplied to us from specialist fabricators. The soil in this area was highly-shrinkable clay requiring special concrete mixes and in places where trees had grown, the foundations were deepened in order to comply with NHBC guidelines. In order to minimise the use of stone and cement in the concrete foundations, their depth was reduced to a more reasonable level after leaving these critical areas. We are proud to have been part of the design team for this practical example of sustainable construction for modern living in rural Wiltshire.