28 November 2016

Visiting the Huf Haus UK Show House

The success of Peter Huf's talk to Ham Amenities Group (HAG) was such that we were invited to visit the new Huf House UK Show House in Brooklands on a day that it is not normally open to the public and Peter Huf was there to guide us around.

The talk had been very good but it was far better to see the reality and to have Peter there for two hours, with his colleague Jack Eddy Architectural Technologist and Environmental Advisor, to go into more detail about the approach and the philosophy and also to answer all the detailed questions that we had.

The wide entrance hall set the scene beautifully. It was spacious and bright and you could see right past the dining area to the garden beyond. Just behind that hedge was a busy road but we could only hear the traffic when Peter opened a window to make a point about the sound insulation.

A Huf Haus connects with its setting and this was most obvious in the master bedroom suite with its large windows and the trees almost in touching distance.

The Show House was arranged as a three bedroom house with the master bedroom taking all of one side of the upstairs (to the right) and two good bedrooms on the other side.

The dining area was double height which produced this impressive view. The dining table is a good size with eight chairs around it yet it almost looks small in the space allocated to it. No squeezing past chairs here.

The landing was far more than a corridor. There was space for a substantial wall unit along one side and sitting areas with several chairs at each end.

The Show House is on an industrial estate, The Heights, and part of it faces on to a car park. Most of the house looks the other way and on the car park side there is the kitchen and an office.

The section of wall hides the plant room. This would normally be in the basement but this house is close to a stream and is raised above normal ground level to keep it safe from flooding so a basement was out of the question.

One corner of the house had this outside area. That is the main living space on the other side of the glass wall. The river is just off to the left, as indicated by the trees.

Looking the same way but from inside shows how wonderful that living area is with its natural views and huge spaces. The dinning area is just off to the right.

Beyond the wall with the paints on is a conference room which, with the office on the other side, enables the house to function commercially. If this was a wholly domestic property then those two rooms could have been more bedrooms or something like a gym or music room.

Huf Haus is designed to make you happy with good light and views and with all the annoyances, like heat and noise, dealt with by state of the art technology. This house operates without mains gas or electricity and because it is so efficient it only need around 10 Kw to keep it going.

We spent a lot of time talking about the technology of the wood and the glass and the energy systems while also appreciating the way that the design of the house makes the most of the sun and the least of the rain. That is why it can claim to be the best house in the country.

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