The Cow Shed

The superstructure is timber framed using engineered timber I-studs, joists and rafters with wood fibre insulation: this forms 500mm thick walls on three sides of the building. All external wall and roof coverings are timber products, and the windows are double glazed composite timber with external aluminium sections. The construction process has been attentive to airtightness as an energy and moisture management measure.


The site enjoys mains water and electricity but no gas or mains drainage.

The services strategy includes a ground source heat pump, in-roof photovoltaic array (4Kw), PV immersion, underfloor heating, a wood burning stove to provide a focal point, natural ventilation, extract fans in kitchen, utility room and bathrooms and a foul drainage connection by agreement into the neighbouring reed-bed.


There is an existing well with the opportunity for future deployment. The pond has been renovated and offers some rainwater attenuation in addition to habitat, and landscaping proposals include fruit and vegetable growing.


Located on the edge of the South Downs National Park and outside the settlement boundary.


The site was purchased with planning permission for conversion of the existing milking parlour and part of the pole barns into a domestic property with 5 bedrooms. Looking into the detail of the conversion it was quickly evident that the accommodation was compromised and substantial deconstruction would be necessary to reform the existing buildings as a conversion. This would involve a huge amount of resource for a less than ideal solution.


Taking the ridge height and footprint of the former milking parlour, planning permission was gained for a new dwelling with an east-west orientation and one that follows the orientation pattern of the surrounding buildings.


The aim of this project has always been to build using sustainable principles and in sympathy with the surrounding ecology.





photographs Kris Pawlowski

Sally Williams Architects Ltd

6 East Gardens, Ditchling, East Sussex, BN6 8ST


01273 842588 | E:


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