Bolton Council in the United Kingdom may soon see the construction of its first zero-carbon underground home. Designed by Make Architects for green enthusiast and British football star Gary Neville, the one-story, nearly 8,000 sq ft structure has been designed to be beautiful and functional while keeping energy consumption to a minimum.
Far from classification as a drab bunker, this thoughtful design not only considers its eco-impact, but keeps in tune with the tranquil and expansive meadows and hillsides which surround it. The positioning and orientation of the property was carefully thought out, building materials will be locally sourced, and traditional building methods will be used where possible. A ground source heat pump will provide the heating and photovoltaic panels and an on-site wind turbine will generate renewable energy.
Almost all of the home will be constructed into the hillside, which, according to the design firm, “enables the surrounding moorland to seamlessly flow across the roof.” The layout takes the form of a flower, with the “petals” hosting areas to eat, relax, entertain, work and play, all around a central kitchen. When lit at night, the house will leave a distinctive, glowing floral impression on the darkened landscape. Amusingly, some have compared the structure to the famed Teletubby house, which admittedly shares some aesthetic value. However, the architects at Make contend their inspirartion arose from Skara Brae, a neolithic underground settlement in Orkney.
While the house will likely be quite costly, the eco-standards it is implementing will certainly make it a worthwhile and impactful venture. The structure has already been selected as an exemplary project within the Government’s ‘Planning Performance Agreements for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Schemes’, and it is anticipated to be so advanced that the government is considering using the scheme as a benchmark for all future zero-carbon developments. The team hopes that construction permits will be granted soon in order to commence preliminary work on the residence this year.