Tarn Moor is an environmentally sustainable family home for a climate scientist utilising a range of sustainable building materials, thermal control and renewable electricity supply.  This unique building capitalises on the fantastic views, exaggerated by the butterfly roof that frames the buildings outlook.

Project Name: Tarn Moor
Studio Name: Adam Knibb Architects

Tarn Moor by Adam Knibb Architects - Sheet4
©Adam Knibb Architects

Set within the Surrey ‘Green Belt’ a sustainable vision ensured the use of a glulam structure grid but with flexible internal zones.  Tarn Moor was a project derived to reduce the carbon energy used in construction.  The existing house was recycled and used as hardcore; new research and development was carried out to determine flexible foundations whilst not using concrete as a material.  Internal finishes were sourced from second hand sites to reuse as much as possible – think eBay kitchen!

Tarn Moor by Adam Knibb Architects - Sheet6
©Adam Knibb Architects

The focus for this project was not to use all brand new elements but to prove it is possible to recycle, re-source and reduce impact in construction.

Questions and Answers

What are the sustainability features?

Tarn Moor demonstrates how you can affordably achieve an environmentally sustainable home with design flair.

In addition to the environmental benefits from the timber structure, the building utilises other sustainable construction materials including the following;

Locally sourced knapped flint: A natural material with minimal manufacturing required. The locality ensured that the embodied energy is minimised.

Limecrete: – A more eco-friendly alternative to concrete as lime requires less energy to produce than cement.  Lime also reabsorbs some CO2 as is sets.

Compressed aggregate foundations (recycled rubble): – This negates the need for concrete which is estimated to produce 0.9kg of CO2 for every 1kg produced.

Crushed foam glass: – Made from 60% recycled glass, reducing landfill waste (used as insulation at the base of the walls).  It is also recyclable, non-polluting and does not contain greenhouse gases or ozone depleting products.

The property also utilises sustainable energy sources including the following:
Solar panels
Ground source heat pump

Tarn Moor by Adam Knibb Architects - Sheet8
©Adam Knibb Architects

What was the client brief?

The brief for Tarn Moor was to create an environmentally sustainable 3 bedroom home that utilised the fantastic views and site location with a high sustainable awareness.

How is the project unique?

This project has been a trailblazer for environmental sustainability, using aggregate foundations, foam glass insulation, locally sourced flint, CLT timber structure and renewable energy resources all the time successfully sticking to a small budget.

Exhibiting a striking design, Tarn Moor is a unique contemporary design that sympathetically responds to the surrounding environment creating minimal visual impact.

The building frame is designed on a grid structure.  The internal walls are not load bearing with an exception to the structural chimney, therefore there is great future potential for reformatting the interior layout in the future.  This ability future proofs the properties ability to be adapted to conform to any future needs and desires of this owner and subsequent homeowners.

©Adam Knibb Architects

The project demonstrates that ‘re-use’ and ‘re-cycling’ is possible and enlightens that not everything has to be purchased ‘new’ to look good, the greatest example is the kitchen which was an eBay purchase and reconfigured to fit both the space and the client requirements.  This totally demonstrates that products often have years left in them when discarded in the name of ‘fashion’ or simply ‘fancying a change’.

The unconventional winged roof exhibits an alternative technology for CLT.  Tarn Moor demonstrates that glulam is a suitable alternative for steel beams in atypical buildings as well as buildings that conform to a standard vernacular.


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