• "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

    - Benjamin Franklin

  • "Climate change is the biggest thing that humans have ever done on this planet. The one thing that needs to be even bigger is our movement to stop it"

    - Bill McKibben

  • "If you really think the environment is less important than the economy, try holding your breath while you count your money"

    - Dr. Guy McPherson

  • "Most of us are aware that scientists say climate change is underway, but even if we accept it as true we act as if it had no implications"

    - Prof Naomi Oreskes

  • "The Earth was much warmer than today in the early Cenozoic period. It was so warm that there were no ice sheets on the planet and sea level was about 75 meters higher"

    - Prof James Hansen

  • "The human-made rate of change of atmospheric Co2 is ten thousand times larger than the natural rate that drove the climate changes of the past"

    - Prof James Hansen

  • "If we could catch one five thousandth part of the energy that the sun sprays onto this globe every day we would meet all of the energy requirements of humanity"

    - Sir David Attenborough, 2015

  • "I'd put money on the sun and solar energy, what a source of power. I hope we wont have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that"

    - Thomas Edison, 1931

  • "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek"

    - Barak Obama

  • "The warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening and we are entering a period of consequences"

    - Al Gore, 2006

  • "We shall need a new way of thinking if humanity is to survive"

    - Albert Einstein, 1954

  • "Admit nothing into your home that is neither useful nor beautiful."

    - William Morris

  • "Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and eat and sleep with the earth."

    - Walt Whitman

  • "Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them. It dwells in lowly places that all disdain. That is why it is so near to Tao"

    - Lao Tzu

  • "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art"

    - Frank Lloyd Wright

  • "The truth of a vessel lies not in that of which it is made; it lies in the space contained within"

    - Lao Tze

  • "Study Nature, Love Nature, stay close to Nature. It will never fail you."

    - Frank Lloyd Wright

  • "That which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of the night"

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Your house is your larger body. It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; yet it is not dreamless. Does not your house dream? And dreaming, leave the city for grove or hilltop?"

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house within the city walls."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadow."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vinyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments."

    - Kahlil Gibran

  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these fully satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains?’ Nature remains"

    - Walt Whitman

  • "Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity."

    - Wolfgang von Goethe


Devon, UK


About This Project

A contemporary energy self-sufficient residence in a rural area of Devon – near the village of Combe Raleigh. An area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Planning Permission granted in spring 2012.

This solar hemicycle design is oriented 30 degrees east of solar south in order to avail the main accommodation of the broad views in an easterly direction. The accommodation is somewhat unusual in having the first floor bedrooms accessed by a balcony/gallery which overlooks the main Lounge, but this does add ‘wow’ factor – with the Lounge being double storey height.

As is standard in solar passive design the main living areas are open plan and front-and-centre to the solar collector wall.

The thermal mass required to hold the solar heat inside while assisting cooling in hot weather consists of a polished concrete floor with fossils embedded in it, and local ‘chert’ fieldstone walls. At night insulating curtains are to be drawn across the solar wall to retain the solar heat gained by day.

The design has a bonus in being oriented to the sun. There are 20 square metres of solar PV on the roof, designed as so integral that they will not ordinarily be seen. Moreover, there is a sizeable deck area at roof level, reinforcing the ship-like feel of the accommodation.


  • Long and narrow, presenting the most area to the sun. The curved nature of the design can be compared to the bay window of a more conventional house – extending the length exposed to the sun.
  • Open planning of living areas to promote natural distribution of solar heat.
  • The majority of glass facing south (albeit with the maximum deviation from south – 30 degrees east). Small openings only on the north face.
  • Solar shading by broad extended roof overhangs and ‘finned’ timber window frames.
  • High thermal mass walls and floor inside to retain solar heat.
  • Superinsulation – 200mm in walls, 300mm in roof and over 1 metre under the floor.
  • A ground source heat pump for hot water, and as a back-up heating source.
  • This design achieved a double ‘A’ grade PEPC (Predicted Energy Performance Certificate) when independent SAP calculations were undertaken.
  • ‘Sintrendel’ is an Old English word whose meaning varies according to context, but which is generally taken to mean ‘circular or endless’.

The site for Sintrendel was sold in 2015 (the owners decided to move to Scotland). The new owners of the site built a boxy design there.