Simon Loo had previously built a turnkey home in Switzerland. However, a need to be closer to family prompted him to look into the self-build opportunities on offer at Graven Hill. “It was a breath of fresh air – we were able to find a site that perfectly suited our needs,” he says.

Graven Hill’s Plot Passport a fast-track route to gaining planning permission. “Without the Plot Passport, we would not have been able to move as quickly as we did,” says Simon. In April 2017, Simon’s self-build journey began, and by December 2018, he and his family had moved in.

According to Simon, designing the home was both a fun and critical stage of the build. “Using a 3D software program allowed me to visualise every aspect and maximise room space,” he says. Simon’s eye for detail and space-conscious mindset has contributed to a stunning self-build. “I kept repeating ‘reduce, reduce, reduce’ in my head,” he says. “If it didn’t add to our quality of life, it wasn’t going in!”

The family opted for an energy-efficient home, built to Passivhaus standards. It is airtight, with insulated panels allowing for a constant temperature to be maintained. Inside, they’ve created a light, airy space perfect for entertaining. “Natural light is a great mood booster and we wanted as much as possible in our home,” says Simon. The West side of the house is covered in large windows that offer stunning views over Graven Hill’s vast rural landscape.

“The sense of community at Graven Hill is definitely an added bonus to an already great site,” says Simon. “Due to the popularity of self-building in Switzerland, I am used to houses standing out from one another, and I think that it adds to the beauty of the street.”

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