Skip to content
Hartdene Barns ariel shot

Hartdene Barns: The Inside Story

10 November 2023
All Items

Hartdene Barns: The Inside Story

ODC Glass in partnership with

Q New Homes | Nissen Richards Studio


Nine Barn Style Homes 

One Exceptional Low Carbon Development

Six agricultural barns reimagined into a stunning collection of nine Carbon Net Zero, super energy-efficient and highly sustainable new-build homes, on a former Kent dairy farm set in 40 acres in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and overlooking rolling countryside.

Aerial view of barn complex with contemporary glazing


The Developers: Q New Homes Brothers Damien and Michael Wynne founded QNEWHOMES in 2012 and are the driving force behind HARTDENE BARNS. QNEWHOMES, is a boutique development company operating in South East London and the home counties of Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. Their unwavering commitment to creating high-quality homes has breathed new life into underutilized sites, providing much-needed housing and transforming complex challenges into captivating opportunities.

“This development exceeds current building regs by more than a decade and not only provides super-energy-efficient and highly sustainable homes, but homes of the upmost quality and environmental integrity.”

The Architects: Nissen Richards Studio RIBA Award-winning architects and Stirling Prize shortlisted, are a multidisciplinary practice that works across architecture, exhibitions, graphic design, theatre, story-telling, film and animation. At its core, their work is about creating spaces that stimulate experiences.

“We have a thirst for excellence and a curiosity of the world that translates to beautifully crafted spaces for people to experience, feel and enjoy.”

Structurally Insulated Panels: SIPs Eco Panels manufacture affordable, energy-efficient SIP panels at their modern carbon-neutral facility in Scotland since 1999 for award-winning energy-efficient builds with low annual energy costs.

ODC Glass: Supplying and installing premium, high performance bespoke architectural glazing for the entire project, designed and manufactured at their facility in Poole, Dorset.


Interview with Damien Wynne: Q New Homes

You can listen to Damien discuss the project and the process of working with ODC Glass on our videos page

Damien Wynne, Q New Homes, developer

Part One: Summer 2023

The ODC Design and Pre-Installation Process

Specification for this complex project began two years ago with a series of meetings between the ODC technical team, architect and developer to ensure the architectural glazing – sliding doors, glass walls, windows and doors – all met the high efficiency standards and quality that epitomise this exceptional development. There have been multiple revisions to the order in order to get to the point where all parties are happy that the doors and windows have the most desirable aesthetic and most appropriate specification for each individual opening.

Hartdene Barns and SIPS Eco Panels ready for glazing installation Hartdene Barn 1 imagined design showing double height glass wall and full width sliding doors

Matt Levy, ODC Glass, Sales Manager said, “It’s been a long process, which has involved a number of site meetings and discussion. Consultation and on-site survey is key to getting the details right. It’s our job to make sure the client is aware of all the options and understands our capacity to offer and manufacture bespoke designs to suit the project and its build principles.”


Glazing Highlights

Featuring ultra-slim aluminium frames finished in a matt Jet Black powder coating, glazing highlights include:

– multiple curtain walls, one over 5 metres in height
– 4 panel SL320 sliding system spanning a width of 9.44 metres and 2.815 metres in height
– bifold doors with arch top glass panels for openings over 3.5 metres high
– oriel box windows
– large horizon glass roof
– bespoke over-sized fixed and opening rooflights

Large glass curtain walls planned for Q New Home barn conversion at Hartdene

“This project, Hartdene Barns, is very complex and has nearly every window type. There are not many companies we can go to that handle all of that.” Damien Wynne, Q New Homes


The RIBA Climate Challenge: the highest standards of environmental design

Q New Homes’ mantra for this project is ‘Be Lean. Be Clean. Be Green’ and they’re extremely proud Hartdene Barns is part of the Royal Institute of British Architects [RIBA] Climate Challenge 2030. It requires that the dwellings meet exceptionally high standards set by RIBA for embodied carbon, operational energy, and water consumption.

This means embracing sustainability, going way beyond current building regs and ensuring quality and sustainability are at the heart of all their construction and design choices on this project.

Together with architect Nissen Richards Studio, they are ensuring that Hartdene Barns provide eco homes that are Carbon Net Zero with the highest standards of environmental design.

These generously proportioned and luxurious architectural homes will have nearly ZERO running costs whilst also being as environmentally sustainable as possible, both in terms of construction, operational running costs and lifetime living and maintenance!


Energy Consultation: every component in the build considered

A Whole Life Carbon Assessment [WLCA] was undertaken by Sustainability and Energy Consultant Darren Evans to consider the impact of every component in the build and to steer design choices, to include that of architectural glazing design for the entire project.

As a result, this challenging and complex site, originally just a collection of dilapidated buildings is set to be “amongst some of the most environmentally friendly homes in the entire UK” says Evans, who assesses the scheme as “10-15 years ahead of the majority of new builds expected in the UK.”


Construction begins

Out of the ground construction began back in January 2023 after several months of enabling works, and a planning journey spanning several years, with 27 planning conditions and 12 pre-commencement planning conditions.

Groundworks to each plot were completed in-house by QNEWHOMES who as both developer and main contractor have full control of the entire development, from concept right through to completion.

New foundations and raft slabs were completed using entirely Low Carbon Concrete, where 70% of the cement content is a recycled product from the metal industries known as GBBS.

Reinforced Concrete upstands were then formed to the perimeter of the raft slabs and below all new walls, in readiness for the SIPs installation, plot by plot.

The original agricultural structures are encapsulated in the new, entirely independent SIP structures. The old structures are lost and concealed within the new layouts and in no instance relied upon in terms of loading. They act solely as a memory of the past that has crucially determined the shapes forms and layouts, providing the interesting and unique barn style aesthetic.

SIPs (Structurally Insulated Panels) are innovative and environmentally friendly due to their lightweight and low carbon construction. SIPs create an unbroken, thermally efficient envelope around each dwelling, which enhances the performance of green technologies used across the scheme, including Solar PV, ASHP, MVHR and an AVCL.

The SIP panels (highlighted yellow in our diagram) alone already meet Building Regulations but are further encapsulated in additional insulation to roofs and floors (highlighted green in our diagram), setting standards far above the norm!

Together with the expanses of ODC high-performance energy-efficient glazing, this results in exceptionally low operational energy running costs, which means virtually zero annual energy costs in these luxurious homes.

“The dwellings all have their own special architectural moments that set them apart from the norm and demonstrate our attention to detail, and our willingness to embrace design excellence, with support from our long standing relationship with RIBA Award Winning architect Nissen Richards Studio.”


Section through 1 HARTDENE BARNS.

This diagram highlights all the renewable technology, plant and material enhancements used across all nine plots to ensure the project meets the RIBA Climate Challenge providing new build homes that are Carbon Net Zero,  future-proofed homes of the utmost quality and environmental integrity.

architects plans showing sustainable home design and SIPs construction

Pre-Install Meetings

Our precise and time-sensitive installation survey process took place on schedule and without delay. Efficient consultation involving architect, main contractor, surveyor and lead installer means installation of Barn 1, the largest property in the complex begins November 2023.

“ODC have a very thorough process to both the surveying and the sign off to the final set of drawings…The process with ODC is very fluid, it’s quick, but it’s very detailed.Damien Wynne, Q Homes

Hartdene Barns imagined

Coming Soon!

Part Two: Winter 2023

Installation Begins