01 Aug 2017

An energy-efficient self build with a smart secret

Quietly nestled in the peaceful grounds of a Grade II listed property in South Oxfordshire is this striking energy-efficient property, home to the Barrett family. As a new home builder himself, James Barrett recognised the value and potential of installing smart home technology in his new family home:

“We wanted to create a home that provided the perfect living experience for my family, with a ‘wow’ factor that really set it apart from traditional new builds. Design was the primary focus, but I also wanted to incorporate home automation throughout the home. Working with smart home provider Loxone, we were able to create ideal living spaces throughout the property, where smart technology complements all the design aspects.” - James Barrett

Whilst boasting a highly modern interior, the build needed to be sympathetic to the property’s Grade II listed surroundings. Natural Cotswold stone facework gives the property a traditional look, whilst sweet chestnut cladding that silvers with the passing of time enables the home to blend in gracefully with the background, A grass lawn roof cleverly conceals a row of solar panels whilst completing the half-submerged look of the house.

The discreet integration of technology throughout the home was an important part of the build specification. The property is south facing with a wall of windows to let light into the rooms, so self-cooling was important. Using the Loxone Miniserver, the blinds automatically adjust to keep the rooms at the desired temperature. The home is built into a hill, so there is an extraction system that understands when humidity reaches a certain level and kicks in to remove moisture as required.

In addition to the PV system, the home features underfloor heating, which is individually controlled for each zone of the house. Smart lighting​ also helps bring down the energy bills: lights are switched off when no-one’s in the room and dimmed according to the level of sunlight outside, automatically.

Additional smart technology in the house includes multi-room audio throughout the entire home and smart security​ which delivers peace of mind and instant notifications when it matters the most.

With three young children and a bouncy puppy to look after, the Barrett’s top priority for choosing a smart home solution was that it had to be simple to use and require minimum interaction:

“The advantage of a complete, whole-home system like Loxone is convenience. As we head out the front door, a quick tap on a switch lets the home know we’re leaving. Unnecessary lighting, music and the TV are turned off and the heating is lowered. The alarm also activates once we’ve left - it saves a lot of time and hassle, not to mention the energy savings. It’s a whole new way of living.”


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