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Odyssey - the most energy efficient house in the UK

Spectacular Highclere property wins Platinum award for its sustainability

Charlotte Booth

Charlotte Booth


01635 886637

Odyssey - the most energy efficient house in the UK

A HOUSE in Highclere has been recognised as the most sustainable in the UK.

Ian and Kay Vickerage, the owners of Odyssey in Highclere, were presented with a DGNB Platimum award for their HUF HAUS, which was designed in collaboration with the German designer Peter Huf.

Mr Vickerage said: “It is very exciting for us to win the award.

“We feel it is justified and it is good for the recognition to come from an outside party.”

The presentation, which took place on Tuesday, was attended by the chief architect at HUF HAUS, Peter Huf, director at HUF HAUS, Christoph Schmidt and retired architect Patrick Griffin, who designed Parkway in Newbury.

Lord Carnarvon was expected, but was unable to attend.

Odyssey was built on the site of an old metal agricultural building and Mr Vickerage said: “The plot of land was disgusting when we bought it and it already had permission to build a standard house.”

The Vickerages moved into their new home three weeks ago, but they have settled in quickly.

Mr Vickerage said: “We are very happy here. It is everything we were hoping for.

“This award will put Hampshire on the map.

“It is a beautiful place, and a beautiful community.

“This is something to be proud of.”  

Peter Huf, said: “Every HUF HAUS is custom-designed and the most important dimension is how the house is situated on the plot to ensure it is well-balanced as well as sustainable.

“The garden has been landscaped well [by landscaper Anthony Paul].

“It is fantastic and they grow their own vegetables. That is true sustainability.”

All HUF HAUS structures hold the gold certificate for being energy efficient, but the Highclere house has gone one better with the Platinum certificate. 

The two-storey, three-bedroom house is energy efficient and retains heat through triple-glazed windows and employs principles of solar gain and cross-ventilation. 

The house is able to generate a high proportion of its energy requirements from renewable sources with the use of an air-source heat pump.

Mr Vickerage said: “There are also solar panels on the car port for our electric cars.

“I have a completely electric Tesla and my wife has a hybrid, so we can drive in a power-cut.

“The heating in the house is also electric.” 

The UK is the biggest market for HUF Houses in the world.

Odyssey is the only house in the UK and outside Germany to hold the Platinum award, with a rating of 81.3 per cent on sustainability.

The DGNB  certification systems for sustainable building is unique as it assesses quality comprehensively over the entire life cycle of the building.

As it can be applied internationally, it can be tailored to meet country-specific requirements.

It uses as many as 50 sustainability criteria, looking at ecology, economy, socio-cultural aspects, technology, process work flows and sites.

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