The design follows simple core principles of passive solar gain, high levels of insulation, thermal mass and a touch lightly approach. The house is located on a south facing slope overlooking existing, mature deciduous woodland. It occupies the site of the existing single storey dwelling. This existing dwelling house is of such quality as to render it unsatisfactory for repair or upgrading. The proposed building has been designed to strongly relate to the woodland with mainly local timber construction. Externally, visible timber in-the-round post and beam structures reflect tree forms. This structure is largely carried on localised pad foundations reducing impact of the woodland and the need for extensive ground works. It also enables a more flexible, efficient utilisation of the sloping site. The Northern aspects of the building are actually sunk into the slope with low retaining walls utilising existing excavated levels. This also serves to reduce the overall profile of the building and provides an opportunity to use local granite in random courses reflecting the local vernacular.
Large windows and sliding doors to the southwest open up the living space to the woods. The roof design and pitch maximises facing south maximises solar gain for Photovoltaic Cells and solar water heating while more shallow pitch facing north allows sun penetration to the courtyard and northerly parts of the house. Window design gives good natural lighting to all internal spaces maximising solar gain and minimising heat loss. The design includes a studio and a basement workshop/integral carport which, together with the glazed thermal collector, are additional non habitable features to the original accommodation. These areas are unheated and provide additional thermal buffers to the main habitable areas.