June 30, 2023
Building in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
Written by Michelle Martin
June 30, 2023
Written by Michelle Martin
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB’s) are characterised by their beauty, unique landscapes, and environmental significance.
Traditionally, building on AONB’s was largely prohibited. However, today’s advancement of technology, materials and sustainable resources, enable architects to create exemplary homes that conserve and enhance the surroundings. Designers can apply their multifaceted design principles to develop homes that respond to the physical and ecological surroundings, whilst meeting the needs of its occupants.
IQ Glass has a portfolio of outstanding glazing projects within AONB, with some ambitious projects positioned on top of stunning landscapes which present a plethora of logistical challenges, whilst being sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.
When undertaking glazing projects in such areas, there are specific challenges that architects and designers need to address. Aside from challenges such as working with the area's topology, constructing on sloping sites and navigating Paragraph 80 regulations, it is imperative to partner with the right glazing company when specifying architectural glass in AONB.
This article explores examples of the challenges and highlights some of our innovative solutions which paved way for some of our successful glazing projects in AONB's.
High Acres - Duncan Foster Architects
High Acres - The original Arts and Crafts Style house built in the 1920′s, sits in a 10 acre wooded site, set within an AONB within the Chilterns, overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury. This project marries black timber cladding with high performance minimal glazing providing a sympathetic new addition to the existing house. The slender profile sliding glass doors with opening corner measured 5770mm wide x 2365mm high. Special logistical planning was taken to minimise the impact on the site.
High Acres was subsequently listed as a finalist in the AJ Retrofit Awards which celebrated sustainable refurbishments.
Chestnut Ridge - StuartBarr CDR & HollandGreen Architects
A high specification refurbishment and extension was carried out in this outstanding property which overlooks the rolling hills in The chilterns AONB. This glazing project includes large elevations of frameless glazing to capture views of the surrounding countryside.
Frameless glass balustrades were installed to the external facade creating a protective barrier that doesn't obstruct the valley views from within the home.
Glazing Projects in AONB – The Cotswolds
Since the house is listed and falls within the Cotswolds AONB, painstaking measures to secure the right design that would appease planning was crucial.
Our technical design team worked alongside the architect to overcome some of the challenges. The result was the design of a glass roof with solar control that would sit over the top of the supporting rear wall at a slight pitch to allow rainwater to drain freely.
A listed Georgian property was another glazing project in an AONB within the Cotswolds which had to overcome major planning constraints.
A new submerged low carbon dwelling beneath a living roof was achieved using an extensive package of flat glass rooflights and ultra slim framed sliding glass doors to the ground floor to provide seamless transitions to the verdant gardens.
This outstanding property merges a traditional dry stone Cotswold cottage with a one storey glass-walled six bedroom dwelling located in an AONB on the edge of a wooden valley. This significant glazing project is recessed into the hillside with a planted green roof and features structural flat rooflights and an oversized structural slim framed glass façade which invites panoramic views into the living spaces.
Glazing Projects in AONB – South & South West
Sweethaws - Piers Smerin
A new build family home set in the heart of Ashdown Forest in an AONB harmonises with nature thanks to the combination of timber materials and thermally broken marine grade structural glazing. Flush glazed Innovare windows and doors were used for the front elevation of the home and also in the newly built standalone garage over the bridge. This glazing project uses custom oversized glazing elements to capture views of the beautiful 22 acre site.
A three track minimal windows sliding pocket glass door system was chosen as an unobtrusive glazing solution in this stunning Somerset location located in an AONB next to one of the largest and most beautiful ancient oak woods in Britain.
The full height sliding three panel glass façade boasts slim sightlines, conserving the original vernacular. When all three panels slide into the pocket cavity, the maximum aperture is achieved blurring all boundaries between the inside and outside.
Stone Haven - Woodford Architecture
This sustainable new build home is nestled against a grassy slope overlooking the stunning Cornish coastline. An expansive high performance glazing package with solar control and tested for wind loading was required. Ultra slim sliding glass doors and a glazed link by our South West Team draw in natural light and incredible views. Using such a large amount of glazing on the south-facing elevation maximises the hours of sunlight enjoyed by the occupants during the day.
In order to counteract any excessive solar gain produced by receiving so much natural light, a solar control coating was applied to each of the glazed units, preventing the internal living spaces from overheating during the sunniest parts of the day.
Shire End - Rak Architecture
Located in Dorset in a coastal AONB regarded as the Jurassic Coast, this glazing project comprises of a marine grade structural glass roof, a structural box window and a three track minimal windows sliding glass doors to frame impressive views of the rugged seascape.
The structural glass roof needed to withstand high windloading pressures due to its coastal location.
Glazing Projects in AONB – Scotland
Portree Loch - Room Studio
Marine grade solar controlled architectural glazing was designed and constructed in this Hebridian new build built into a wooded hillside to provide far reaching views of Portree Harbour. This glazing project in an AONB had limited terrain with a mission to conserve as many of the trees as possible. Specialist equipment was required to deliver and install on site. IQ Glass was chosen to overcome the challenges of the s natural contours of the land, reducing tree loss and excavation work whilst delivering uninterrupted views with ultra slim framed architectural glazing.
Considerations for glazing projects in AONB
Areas of outstanding natural beauty often feature diverse, undulating topography with nature conservation at the heart. This presents challenges for glazing projects. Architects must carefully consider how the design integrates with the natural contours of the land (sometimes using advanced 3D laser scanning technology and site analysis techniques), creating designs that harmonise with the surrounding landscape, minimising visual impact and preserving the area's natural beauty. Strategic placement of glazing can maximise views while minimising obtrusiveness.
Sustainable dwellings are at the heart of all designers who strive to create its clients visions in an ecologically friendly design.
IQ’s innovating glazing solutions contribute to the performance of the overall fabric of the building.
As well as solar control solutions to prevent solar gain and energy consumption to cool a space, there are other specialist glazing solutions which safeguard the nation’s birds, for example, such as bird glass protection which is often used in glazing projects within AONB where bird migration paths are high. This specialist reflective UV coating is visible to birds only, and is a sympathetic approach to building design in areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Do you have an ambitious build in an AONB and seek a high performance glazing package?
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