Grand Designs House Exterior, Billingshurst
Aerial photo of property

Photo credits: Channel 4   3D model: Gyoury Self

Project Description

Client: Olaf Mason/Mason Carpentry
Location: Billingshurst, West Sussex
Year Completed: 2020
Architect: Valerie Hinde

This modern 3-storey bespoke home was commissioned by local master carpenter, Olaf Mason, as a self-build project. An irregular shaped infill plot determined the building’s unusual triangular design. As did the unexpected discovery of an underground mains sewer running through the centre of the site!

All structural engineering on the project was designed and detailed in 3D using Revit. This enabled the complicated geometry to be set out in a format best suited for the client to undertake the complex carpentry work involved.

The traditional timber frame structure has beam and block floors sitting on strip foundations. The external finish is in white rendered blockwork, blue engineering brick and timber cladding. The distinctive zinc covered roof incorporates solar panels.

Construction of the house was filmed for the Channel 4 TV show Grand Designs (Series 21). This was first screened in September 2021. Our Revit engnineering model was used to create the 3D animated construction sequence that featured in the show.

The Challenges

The biggest challenge was presented by the site itself. The site is wedged between an adjacent railway line and busy main road. It also has the aforementioned mains sewer running through the centre of the plot.

To allow the house to be constructed to three-storeys, whilst not rising the roof height significantly above the nearby houses, localised excavation of the existing ground was required. Retaining walls were needed around the house in order to facilitate this.

Do you need a structural engineer for a self-build project?

If you are embarking on a self-build project, we can provide all the necessary structural engineering input you need to meet the building regulations requirements for a new build home. We would be happy to review your proposed project and provide an estimate for cost-effective engineering works. For more information, please call T: 01273 414413 or contact us to speak with a member of our friendly and approachable engineering team.