It may look a bit like a crop circle, but plans for a futuristic eco-friendly home in the middle of a Bovingdon field are anything but alien.
Dr Ian Mays and his wife Helen have submitted an application to build what is thought to be the UK’s first zero-carbon home of its kind in a bid to show the youth of Dacorum how to build for the future.
Ian, 60, currently lives in Chipperfield and has a background in renewable energy as chief executive of Kings Langley-based RES. He hopes to replace existing buildings with the circular structure in Ten Oaks Farm on Bovingdon’s Flaunden Lane.
An initial application was made last November, but was withdrawn because the couple believed they should undertake an ecological survey. It has now been re-submitted and is expected to be decided on by Dacorum Borough Council planning chiefs by the end of November.
Ian said: “We are trying to improve the appearance of the existing site. We want to use the site to maximise the benefit to the environment, both globally and locally.”
The plans include an acre of orchard land, which would absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The building would also produce more solar energy than it needs in order to run, and would pay back the carbon used in its construction.
The striking round house – with five bedrooms and a one-bed annex – would maximise the amount of sunshine it receives, reducing the amount of energy needed to both heat and light the home.
Ian said: “It is going to be beneficial to show what Dacorum can do for sustainability. Many reduced-carbon homes do not make the most of local trade – we want to show it can be done using local, conventional materials and skills.
“We also want to show schools and young people what sort of thing they might expect from houses in the future and how to achieve it.”
Consultation letters have been sent to parties including Bovingdon Parish Council and Ian has distributed 100 flyers to neighbours.