Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Eco Houses at Anderwood

Yesterday, on our walk in Anderwood, we passed the new Sustainable Homes which have recently been built. This building comprises two semi detached houses which each have three bedrooms. Each home also includes a wooden barn and outbuildings.

These homes were designed to be built with the least possible impact on the New Forest environment. They are rented by practising New Forest commoners. There is a shortage of affordable homes to buy or rent in the New Forest. Many of the traditional cottages and farms would have been homes to commoners of past times. Today, those homes command high prices that may be beyond the means of a commoning farmer.

Many traditional homes have been bought by people moving into the Forest. This is a popular area for city people who retire to a New Forest cottage. A high proportion of Forest properties are second/weekend homes or holiday homes rented to tourists. Over 40% of the homes in a nearby village are second homes and are empty for most of the year. Not only does this impact upon the community of a village, but it means that the descendants of those earlier New Forest commoners struggle to find homes that they can afford , within the Forest where they keep their animals.

The Forestry Commission has built these sustainable homes at Anderwood in an attempt to meet the demand for homes for commoners. It is hoped that this project will be the first of many.

As explained on the poster photographed below, The wooden framed houses were built from Douglas Firs harvested from the Anderwood plantation.

The wooden houses have facilities for Grey Water Harvesting. Rainwater is collected, used, filtered and then re-used.

Geothermal Heating pipes have been installed, which heat the houses using heat from within the earth.

There are Solar Panels on the roof which produced solar energy.

More details about sustainable homes can be found on the Forestry Commission website.

Here is a traditional Victorian keeper`s cottage not far from the newer homes.

The view from the old keeper`s cottage, along the wooded lane towards Lyndhurst.


Bovey Belle said...

I'd not heard of these, but WHAT a sensible project, and to make them eco-friendly too, 100 times better! To build them with local wood too - it could have only moved a few hundred yards from where it was growing. Whoever had the idea for these should be promoted! I hope there will be more homes for the commoners - and a HUGE premium put on 2nd homes for high-flying Londoners . . .

Morning's Minion said...

I've been mulling this post in odd moments and mentioned it to J. We have long had an interest in post and beam [timberframe] buildings, which are still to be found in New England. We lived for a time in a 200 year old farmhouse that had been built by that method. Combining modern ecologically sound practices with such a classic type of structure seems a wonderful thing to do.
I rage ineffectually at the "second home" concept--particularly when it means that older homes are snatched up by the wealthy thereby displacing those for whom the houses should be a rightful heritage. [And yes, I realize that sometimes the well-to-do incomers save a venerable building from falling down.]
It will be interesting to see how this project works out and how the "commoners" will respond.