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29th Jan 2019

The Mayfield Barn Eco-Vision; in tune with its surroundings without costing the Earth.

Mayfield was the first in a pair of Dutch barn conversions. The barns are situated in fields just outside the village of Long Crendon, with endless views across the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside. The overall objective was to create two individual but complimentary family homes, each with its own character and specification.

The clients at Mayfield Barn are heavily committed, both professionally and personally, to eco-build and the principles behind it. It was clear from their initial brief that building a residence with the lowest possible carbon footprint and minimal environmental impact was their top priority. However, as planning did not allow demolition of the original concrete and steel frame, it was clear from the outset that there would be constraints in terms of what was achievable.

Right from the start of the build, environmental considerations came into play. Re-use of the concrete base and the metal and concrete frame resulted in a significant reduction in new materials manufacturing and transportation, as well as reduced site waste transportation and treatment.

The challenge of ‘cold bridges’ across the concrete and steel frame were tackled with innovative insulation solutions as well as the meticulous taping of joints (which became something of a religion on the Mayfield Barn build!). A further entire wall build-up and vapour control layer was then added to achieve the desired thermal U values. The final air-tightness testing surpassed all expectations with Mayfield Barn achieving the highest standards possible for a barn conversion.

An eco-friendly air-source heat-pump, by market leading Scandinavian manufacturer NIBE, was installed to provide Mayfield’s heating and hot water. Advice from experts at Nu-Heat (UK certified NIBE suppliers) and Thompson Heating and Plumbing (trusted sub-contractors to StuartBarr CDR) meant that the system was accurately specified in relation to full heat loss U Value calculations. 

Vast glazing panels to the south of the building are triple glazed, as are all the windows in the building, further reducing overall heat loss. In addition, as global temperatures rise, the barn offers a canopy over the main glazed face, offering shade in the summer and allowing solar gain in the winter, given the lower angle of the sun’s rays.

Further eco considerations include a bio-efficient waste system, an EV charging point and low carbon internal fit-out by BarrKitchens and BarrJoinery (using ultra-low formaldehyde MDF and high-grade ply, serving to minimise manufacturing greenhouse gas emissions).


Much more than an eco-friendly conversion, Mayfield Barn is a completely individual and utterly engaging visual feast. Designed collaboratively by our clients, Barr Design (the Barr Group in-house design service) and HollandGreen Architects, with cladding by the amazing local ooragnisation PJB Cladding Services - the Mayfield Barn Project was one born of a passion for the environment and an equally uncompromising approach to its design and build.

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