Sustainability established in lifestyles

DGNB Platinum Award-winning HUF home

A HUF HAUS Home has made history by becoming the first ever UK home to be granted the Platinum Award by German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).

Receiving this prestigious award are owners Ian and Kay Vicarage at house ‘Odyssey’. Ian and Kays ART 6 Family Home has been commended for achieving pinnacle results in sustainability and design, taking the highest DGNB accolade possible - the Platinum Award.

As our first UK home to go beyond the DGNB Gold standard (which all HUF HAUS homes are credited with upon completion), ‘Odyssey’ demonstrates HUF HAUS’s unfaltering commitment to growth in the design and build of eco-conscious homes. Since 2009, no HUF Homes have used fossil fuel, instead we offer residents the opportunity to live carbon neutral lifestyles.

DGNB Platinum certification can be applied for as a further assessment and is accepted on an individual basis. The rigorous judging and assessment process of the Odyssey Home took two years in total to conclude, and it passed with more than flying colours.  

Ian and Kay were totally committed to the sustainability of their Home and ensured every detail qualified and contributed to this exceptional award status, including the implementation of a carport charging station powered by photovoltaic tiles for their electric vehicles.

Having previously lived in both period and large contemporary properties the couple decided that a future-proof, low-maintenance, and preferably off-grid home, would be preferable in the future.

Drawn to the idea of a self-build, the conscious couple instigated a Passivhaus design with a more conventional German builder, but ultimately decided against that partnership. In search of inspiration, they visited the HUF HAUS show home in Weybridge and fell in love with the serenity and sense of wellbeing they experienced there.

“The whole process has been easy,” Ian explains: “Once we had our hearts set on HUF HAUS, we went to the company’s factory and show village in Hartenfels, Germany, to choose all the elements that would make up our home. It was fascinating to see first-hand the skill and precision that goes into the design and manufacturing process.”

“We wouldn’t buy a car, or anything else that was built outside, subject to all varieties of weather, so why would we buy a house built that way? Constructing the elements of a house in a factory setting where the process can be controlled, and very exacting standards achieved, makes much more sense.”

“When all the components had been finished, the trucks containing our home actually arrived a few days early and the entire structure was erected in less than two weeks.”

“Sustainability is important to us – our goal is to do all we can to ensure our impact on the environment is minimal. We drive a Tesla as part of our effort to be eco-friendly, so living in a home with the same ethos was a logical next step”

“Glass is an intrinsic element of Odyssey, blurring the lines between the exterior and interior spaces and maximising the views over the countryside. With the outdoors so much a part of our lives now, it was important to ensure that the landscaping around the house was as well designed and as striking as our home. The HUF team recommended landscape architect Anthony Paul, who has created a subtle, but contemporary garden that connects our house to the countryside around us.”

Kay comments: “We moved into our new home three weeks ago and it has completely lived up to our expectations. I love coming home – it’s such a comfortable as well as beautiful place to live. No matter what the weather is like outside, thanks to the air source heat pump and the underfloor heating, the temperature is always right inside, and heating costs are 1/10 of our previous home.”

“With nine grandchildren, we want to do our part to make the world a better place for them. They love the house even though they don’t all understand about the ecological benefits. Because of all the glazing, they can easily see outdoors and experience the changing weather and all the colours of the beautiful countryside around us. In a more traditional home, all they would see are walls and radiators”.

“We are delighted our home is the first to win this prestigious award, but we hope there will be many more homes built to this standard in the future.”