Prefab glass mansion is fossil-free

It may be hard to believe but this modern, five-bedroom mansion in the UK’s West Sussex countryside – with its own helipad, staff accommodation and 21-acre garden – is actually a luxurious prefab.

Designed by German manufacturer Huf Haus which is famous for building in the Bauhaus architectural tradition with large swaths of glass incorporated into its designs, the sellers claim that the mansion is also environmentally friendly and uses no fossil fuel energy for heating.

Instead the sellers say that the Lake House is “super insulated”, with geothermal underfloor heating while automated lighting also helps to keep energy usage as low as possible. The house is also super connected to the internet through a CAT 7 shielded cabling and has its own integral sound system.

This prefabricated mansion, currently being marketed by Grantley Sales and Lettings with a price tag of £4.5 million (Dh20.9m), has as little in common with the types of prefabs erected across Europe in the post-war period and with which the name “prefab” has become associated, as you could possibly imagine.

Complete with a cinema and a helicopter hangar, the wood-framed house appears to be made almost entirely of glass with floor to ceiling windows in almost every room.

The ultra-modern design means that the Lake House also comes with electric external shutters for those residents that like to retain a little privacy living in a glass house.

The house also includes a music room with separate access and its own private bar, which the agents say would suit a musician looking for a recording studio.

Located near the village of Plaistow in the Sussex countryside, the house also includes its own landscaped grounds, an ancient bluebell woodland, a tennis court, an area suitable for paddocks and, of course, the rainbow trout lake after which the Lake House is named.

Ancillary buildings include a one-bedroom summer house, which can be used as staff accommodation, as well as a helicopter hangar, barn, a workshop and a garage to fit three cars.

Q&A: Lucy Barnard explains what a prefabricated house actually is:

What is a prefab?

The word is short for prefabricated – the house is made in a factory. In a process a like assembling flat-pack furniture, prefab homes, or modular homes, can be shipped to their destination and assembled more quickly than a traditional build.

What is a Huf Haus?

A Huf Haus is one of the most recognisable of the luxury prefab brands due to its distinctive glass and wood frame. The large panes of glass are the dominant feature allowing the property to be flooded with light. The design of the house also ensures that ongoing costs are kept low; tight seals keep heat in during the winter and exterior overhangs keep the sun out in the summer.

Who builds them?

A German company of the same name. They can be constructed within days, excluding the interior fittings, but only by its own team. They take about a week to install, as long as a basement has been built.

How much do they cost?

The structures cost about £300 (Dh1,396) per square ft. ­Obviously this also excludes other related costs, such as land. The starting prices include a basic entry-level package with floor coverings, plumping and wiring, bathroom sanitary ware, fittings and tiles, ­external blinds on all ground floor glazing and an air source heat pump.

Any disadvantages?

Some financial institutions may not offer mortgages on modular homes.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

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