The Seed is a blueprint for sustainable construction. This new build home used next to no concrete, is insulated with recycled paper, was built around a tree and root protection plan, and incorporates a plan for deconstruction and reuse at the end of its life. Our timber products were another key sustainable element that was carefully specified by the architect, and they are used inside and out for cladding, decking and flooring.
A house that envelopes its occupants
This home for two households shows what can be achieved when reducing embodied carbon is placed front and centre of a building project. The Passivhaus design by Kirsty Maguire Architect reflects its woodland location near Dundee; as well as being the main choice of material for the finishings, wood was used for framing and insulation too. A steel screw pile construction almost completely eliminated the use of concrete.
In this way, The Seed minimises its impact on the land – both in terms of materials and method – and is a light-filled yet cosy space that invites communal living. According to Kirsty Maguire, our products were the perfect fit for a project where the client had a strong vision of creating a home reflective of its natural environment. “Timber and timber products have been used throughout the building as they are renewable and low impact and fit with the visual warmth the clients were looking for,” she explains.
Blending in with its woodland setting
On the exterior, our Scotlarch® cladding has been applied vertically in two different widths (73mm and 150mm) so that the building’s façade complements, rather than contrasts with, the surrounding trees. This cladding is an excellent choice for anyone prioritising low embodied energy in a building’s design, as we take all the timber from FSC-certified forests in the Scottish Highlands within a 100-mile radius of our sawmill.
The Scotlarch® has been coated with SiOO:X Original, a nature-friendly product developed in Sweden that creates an even weathered appearance on timber buildings, even in unexposed areas such as eaves, soffits and alcoves. As the trees and garden continue to grow around The Seed, the use of SiOO:X means the cladding will silver evenly, gently marking the passage of time.
Bringing the outside in
Inside, the use of engineered oak, both on the floors and as interior cladding on the walls, was a considered, biophilic choice that reflects the client’s wish for ‘womb-like’ communal spaces. The other main internal finish is clay plaster, which has a texture and tone that works perfectly with wood. The specification of the European oak flooring in Sand is the same throughout: our Character grade boards in a classic finish.
Kirsty is delighted with how our engineered oak boards have added to the overall ambience in The Seed, saying “The client was keen to create a strong heart to the home, and the use of oak ties in with the built-in furniture so the area almost feels as though it is carved out of a tree.”
Natural decking that will stand the test of time
Every element of this project has been approached from a sustainability perspective. The roof and rainwater goods are recyclable zinc, rainwater is collected in recycled whisky barrels, and the garden is zoned for fruit and vegetable production, home schooling and pond bathing.
The home’s occupants can enjoy this tranquil outdoor space from their deck, built using our Thermopine® decking boards. These are made from thermally modified Scots pine grown in Europe. The team at Kirsty Maguire opted to specify a mix of our RW214 and RW215 (Gripdeck) profiles in a planed finish, plus our Senofix® FT secret fixings, to create a clean and refined look.
Specifier Tip: Our Senofix FT decking fixings are made from an extremely durable reinforced fibre-glass compound, which is highly resistant to UV and frost damage. Using these creates a ventilation gap of 8mm between the deck board and the substructure joist element.
Much more than a home
As you might expect from such a considered project, The Seed doesn’t just cater for its owners. The boundary planting is a hedgerow of edible plants, available to the occupants and passers-by, and safe and inviting habitats for local wildlife have been included in the garden layout.
The initial brief was to create a home for shared living for two households that sits sensitively in the woodland garden and is part of a wider community focus. In our eyes, the brief has well and truly been answered.