Building sustainably in Sandbach

PUBLISHED: 12:28 06 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:36 06 August 2020

Thomas and Kunal, in what will become their master bedroom suite, with glorious views across the Cheshire countryside
Photo: Touched Interiors

Thomas and Kunal, in what will become their master bedroom suite, with glorious views across the Cheshire countryside Photo: Touched Interiors

Archant

A luxury self-build with the ultimate green credentials is being built in Sandbach by Cheshire couple Kunal Trehan and Thomas Hope

The mechanical and electrical plan for the drawing room ensures that the house will deliver the luxury lifestyle they seek
Image: Touched InteriorsThe mechanical and electrical plan for the drawing room ensures that the house will deliver the luxury lifestyle they seek Image: Touched Interiors

Kunal Trehan and his partner Thomas Hope are building their own luxury home in Sandbach, and its eco-credentials are second to none

The concept of sustainable builds, carbon-neutral living and eco-friendly design isn’t a new one, in fact it’s not even a concept any more, it’s real and it’s happening in both new builds and older homes, but how can it work in a home that is in every inch designed with pure luxury in mind?

“We have always put the environment and ‘green’ considerations at the forefront of everything we do in our businesses,” Kunal says. “So, applying environmentally-aware thinking to the design and build of our home wasn’t even a second thought, it’s been inherent in every decision right from the start.”

Thomas adds: “People think that building in an eco-friendly way means you have to build into a hillside and have a sedum roof, that ‘green’ and ‘luxury’ can’t be one and the same, but they’re wrong. We are building the luxurious, super-comfortable home we want and it will be totally sustainable too. The secret lies in the technology you can apply, and Kunal loves technology.”

Thomas and Kunal have planned the mechanical and electrical needs of their new home with meticulous detail
Photo: Amir ShahThomas and Kunal have planned the mechanical and electrical needs of their new home with meticulous detail Photo: Amir Shah

Kunal’s love of technology means the couple have taken advantage of every technological development available to them, starting with an air source heating pump.

“It not only provides hot water for our home and powers the wet underfloor heating, but it produces three times more energy than it uses, which can be re-routed back into our power grid. As well as this, we have chosen a solar PV system, which will connect to a Tesla power wall – essentially an enormous battery, charged by the power of the sun. Solar power generally only powers your home in daylight hours, but after dusk in our home, our battery will kick in and provide all the power we need: enough for our climate control air conditioning and all the LED mood lighting internally, all while keeping our carbon footprint to a minimum.”

See where is all began in part one of Kunal and Thomas’s home building story

Every decision Kunal and Thomas have made has been with one key objective in mind: comfort. Running three businesses means that they want somewhere luxuriously comfortable to return to in the evening, but at no point have they considered compromising on sustainability, and that includes decisions made around their windows and glazing.

“A big feature of our home is the vast amount of light that will enter through its oversized windows and structural wall and ceiling glazing. Although this will look great, in summer the house could overheat and in winter a lot of heat can escape though the glass. We are installing mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR), which means as well as fresh, filtered air at all times, we will maintain a consistent temperature of 18 degrees, even in the winter months, which we can then enhance with the underfloor heating, powered by the air source pump and Tesla battery wall.”

It sounds as though there has some serious maths done to ensure that what they want, they will get, when they finally move into their beautiful new home.

“There has,” Kunal laughs. “It is important when opting for this type of system to know exactly what consumption requirements you have. Designing the interior alongside the exterior means you always know the capacity demands of your build. We knew we needed a highly capable system to control the mood lighting, climate control and the home automation. Without knowing all of this, in detail, you can make the critical error of specifying a system that may not be capable of handling your requirements. We know exactly how many table lamps and external spotlights we are having, we know what energy needs we will have in our kitchen, our audio-visual requirements and even which window dressings will be automated, so this ensures our system is perfect for our build’s needs.

“When it’s complete, we shall have a truly luxurious home that operates on a completely carbon neutral basis.”

Luxe with heart, you might say.

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