Otter Farm: A family eco-home & kitchen featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs

As featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs, Irebuild led both the project management and construction of the ambitious eco-project, Otter Farm.

Located in Honiton, Devon, the project consists of two eco buildings: a family eco-home and a rustic commercial kitchen. Both buildings are excellent examples of bespoke and ambitious environmental building and design.

The property is now a working vineyard called Heron Farm

Otter Farm’s eco-home

A bespoke timber frame structure, the family home consists of an expansive state-of-the-art kitchen, mezzanine, office, living area, four bedrooms and two bathrooms.

An environmentally-sound thermodynamic system provides underfloor heating and hot water for both buildings. The walls are heavily insulated with recycled paper, ensuring that the home is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Triple glazed glass collects and retains passive solar, creating optimum efficiency.

Commercial cob-walled kitchen

Otter Farm’s Kitchen Garden School sits next to the family eco-home. The frame is made from steel rather than timber.

The building comes complete with cob walls. Cob is ancient Devonshire building material that acts as an excellent insulator and heat sink. The clay used in the cob was excavated from the site itself.

The kitchen is a vast space complimented by large windows. It is kitted out with a fully working kitchen suitable for running courses and hosting events.

Otter Farm’s living roofs: engineering marveled at by Grand Designs

Both buildings are topped with plough-shaped living roofs edged with aluminium. This was an ambitious feature that the Irebuild team brought to life through skill and creativity. To learn more about how they did it, you can watch the full episode on Grand Designs.

Both roofs are covered with grass. These living roofs will help improve biodiversity, reduce surface run-off when it rains, minimise the need for air conditioning in the summer, and also provide insulation in the winter. 

“Over the course of the ten months we were filming the Otter Farm episode for Grand Designs, the Irebuild team made our time on site a sheer delight. I couldn’t have met a nicer, happier and more skilled bunch of guys.”

Claire Lasko, Director, Grand Designs