Ultimate eco home move

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DR Jerry Harrall, the local architect behind plans for a development of 87 eco-homes at Long Sutton Butterfly Park, has put his own prototype eco-home on the market.

Jerry, his wife Kay and their three children will move across Gedney Road, Long Sutton, from the earth-sheltered bungalow once described as a ‘hobbit home’ to the ultimate carbon-free unheated house of his dreams.

He designed the four-bedroomed house that’s now for sale in 1996 and has lived there with his family for more than a decade as an experiment in green lifestyle.

The new family home on the site of a commercial eco-development of seven offices across the road will be kept at a comfortable 22 degrees year-round with no direct or back-up heating at all.

Work is due to start later this summer on the Unheated House, in the shape of the letter C with the open end facing due south, all enclosed by a circular earth bank and with a revolutionary heat-storing courtyard floor.

Long Sutton born Jerry, whose firm Sustainable Ecological Architects (SEArch) is involved in designing a series of energy-saving projects in the town and other award-winning green developments nationwide, aims to redefine affordable homes as homes people can afford to run without energy bills.

He said: “Our present home has remarkably low energy use but the new one should have none at all.

“Solar panels on the roof will supply all our non-heating energy needs.

“Kay has insisted we have a log-burning stove but we won’t need it for warmth - she likes to see the flames.”

In three weeks’ time construction starts on the Gedney Road eco-offices, and consultation on plans for the Butterfly Park residential development has just been extended to July.

Tenanted for more than three years are six earth-sheltered social housing bungalows at Unity Gardens, Long Sutton, designed by SEArch.

Tenants benefit from being able to sell surplussolar energy from panels on their rooves back to the National Grid.

Jerry said: “All six households now have no energy or heating bills.”