Work has started on a new earth-sheltered, self-built development in Hockerton, Nottinghamshire. The two homes will be developed in a 1-acre field adjacent to the Hockerton Housing Project (HHP) site. Although planning was not straightforward permission has been achieved as a result of the clear environmental design and strong association with HHP. This again represents the forward thinking nature of Newark & Sherwood District Council, who are clearly near the forefront of facilitating sustainable development in the UK.
The design is led by HHP project member/builder, Nick Martin, with significant input from the commissioning parties.
The earth-sheltered homes will be highly energy-efficient with super-insulation, high specification glazing and south facing conservatories designed to collect heat from solar radiation in colder months. The high thermal mass of the buildings combined with insulation means that the homes will be zero-heating, with all heating needs met by solar gain and incidental gains from living in the building. The homes will collect their own water using a rainwater collection system (FreeRain), and waste water will be treated on site via a reed bed system.
There will be close links with HHP including reciprocal assistance with land management, food-growing activities and maintenance of water and energy systems.