Otter Farm

Irebuild’s latest project is Otter Farm, located just outside of Honiton. Excitingly, this project will be featuring on the TV show, Grand Designs.

Small-holding-meets-garden-allotment, Otter Farm is founded and run by award-winning author and former head gardener for River Cottage, Mark Diacono.

About Otter Farm and Irebuild’s involvement

Otter Farm is an exciting project that promotes ideas of self-sufficiency, sustainability, an appreciation for nature, and a love of food. All things that fit in with Irebuild’s core values.

Irebuild is working with Mark on the latest development of his small holding – the creation of two buildings using as much reclaimed material and as many environmentally-friendly building methods as possible. Irebuild has been responsible for both the design and the building of the project.

You can follow the progress of the build over on our blog.

The project

Both buildings are of a contemporary, asymmetrical design.

The first is a steel frame building that will be used for wine making (complete with wine cellar), as well as for Otter Farm’s farm shop and restaurant. The walls will be constructed from cobb – an ancient Devonshire building material that acts as both an insulator and a heat sink as it soaks up and retains the sun’s warmth.

The second building is a timber frame construction. This will contain a large working kitchen, an office, and living accommodation. The walls of this structure will be heavily insulated with recycled material to ensure that the building is as energy efficient as possible.

The roofs of both buildings will be covered in a variety of plants and flowers to form what are known as ‘living roofs’. This will not only improve the buildings’ environmental credentials, but will also enable the structures to blend in with the surrounding countryside. Even more uniquely, both roofs will be constructed in the shape of a plough.

Environmental Credentials

• 300 mm thickness of insulation made from recycled materials
• Clay used for the cobb sourced on site
• Solar pad to provide hot water for both buildings
• Reclaimed bricks used for the floor
• Living roofs will help improve biodiversity, reduce surface run-off when it rains, reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer, and also provide insulation in the winter