Ground level view

Ian Simpson designs eco-home in disused reservoir

Plans for the conversion of redundant utility buildings in north Lancashire into a low-carbon family home will be submitted to Wyre council later this week by Bishopsrock Properties. (GALLERY)

As winners of a design competition, Ian Simpson Architects developed proposals for the conversion of two disused, adjacent water reservoir tanks on an elevated site in Barnacre-with-bonds, near Garstang.

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The project will see a large former water tank become a "contemporary interpretation of the country home" with six bedrooms. A smaller tank will be converted into a two-bedroom holiday cottage, aimed at stimulating tourism and the local economy.

Andy Shaw, director of Bishopsrock Properties, said: "We are now poised for the final planning stage of a project that has taken many years of hard work by all of our dedicated team. Our dream is to awaken this slumbering monolith and fill it with the laughter of children and the sounds of happy family life, with folks who will truly appreciate the great family home that through this conversion it is capable of providing for them."

The site has views of the sea and Nicky Nook, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Daylight will flood into the main building via a series of roof lights and new glazed areas which frame views towards the sea and surrounding pastures. The proposals include a sweeping green roof, supporting native grass and sedum species, as part of ambitions to increase biodiversity in the area and visually enhance the setting of the building within the surrounding landscape.

The completed 13,500 sq ft building's environmental credentials will include high levels of thermal insulation and the use of low-energy systems to reduce energy demand, whilst ground source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels form the basis for renewable energy provision.

The main tank was originally designed to hold one million gallons of water and was built of high-grade concrete. Borehole tests and laboratory testing concluded that the reservoir tank was in 'as new' condition, even after 40 years of service.

Ian Simpson Architects was able to retain large parts of the concrete structure therefore significantly reducing the constructional impact of the scheme.

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