Sussex Heritage Trust Awards 2018: Pegden Hall

Posted By Jon Sewell-Rutter

Apr 19th, 2018

Following several years of hard toil by our self-build client Peter Mahon, we are delighted to announce that our scheme at Pegden Hall in Scaynes Hill has been accepted as a contender for a Sussex Heritage Trust award this year!

Pegden Hall

Pegden Hall occupies a commanding corner of the site, overlooking rolling Sussex countryside. Photo credit: Nick Mahon.

The project for a new oak-framed home replaced a bungalow which stood on the site before a devastating fire.  The replacement dwelling took inspiration from the Wealden Hall House vernacular, which was fused with our client’s desire to develop a high-performance home with a low-carbon footprint, delivering a project which met level 5 of the then Code for Sustainable Homes.

Sharing its DNA with ‘Bayleaf’ at The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in Singleton, the original period building was ‘reimagined’ to incorporate passive solar benefit (and capitalise on great views) through a central bay of glazing.  Some contemporary luxuries were added over Bayleaf’s original facilities, such as glass in the windows, or in this case high-performance glazing…  The building envelope, finished externally in traditional lime render to work well with the Sussex oak frame, is extremely airtight and features very thick thermal insulation, adopting the fundamental principle of sustainable building: ‘wrapping up warm’.

Back in 2011, the plans were finalised and a planning application was made to Mid Sussex District Council.  MSDC were supportive of the scheme from the outset, keen to see one of the first CSH level 5 homes in the district delivered.  Local support was also strong, with positive representations from the Green Party candidate, and planning consent was granted promptly.  The entire project took Peter and his team just under 5 years to completion and was the result of using local materials and local craftsmen wherever possible – local supply chains being another sustainability goal of the project.

The resulting home is a resounding success, as an object in the landscape, an architectural experiment, and a family home.  It will be rewarding in the long-term too, with very meagre energy consumption equalling tiny bills and realisation of the low-carbon footprint target all despite the size of the building. We hope the judges will agree!