Building Type: Garden office/outbuilding

Location: Exeter, Devon

Service: Planning and detailed construction stages

Approx Budget Range: £5-10,000


A compact but high spec garden building built at the back of a small Victorian terraced garden in Exeter. The design intended to create a courtyard feel and provided some very necessary space to house the owner’s 5 bikes and growing tool collection. Featuring a planted green sedum roof, reclaimed bricks, reclaimed timber joists, cedar cladding and powder-coated aluminium windows and door. The design intent was to be flexible for future office use and is insulated and fitted with electrics.

The project was a self-build and site assistance was given. Its design was formed to avoid an existing ornamental tree, which was saved throughout construction and blossoms with pink flowers every spring.

The green roof helps with heat and sound insulation, but it’s primary function is to increase biodiversity, and some greenery to the hard landscaped garden. It changes through the seasons and is low-maintenance. A significant benefit of this sort of roof covering is the attenuation, or slowing down of, rainwater run-off. The rain landing on the roof is soaked up by the growing substrate and any overflow percolates slowly through the roof, lessening the demand on the local drainage pipes in big storms and helping to counteract flash flooding. The rooflight, window and glazed door let in plenty of natural light.

Knot-free cedar was chosen for it’s appearance and long-life as the natural oils within the timber keep it decay free. Part of the building is built using reclaimed bricks, both inside and out to harmonise with the main house and garden walls. The building has insulation and electrics, allowing year-round use and possible future conversion to office space.


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