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Pioneering Graven Hill self-build home wins prestigious industry award

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Pioneering Graven Hill self-build home wins prestigious industry award.
The award winning home at Graven Hill

A pioneering self-build home at Graven Hill near Bicester has won a Built It Award, one of the most coveted accolades in the self-build housing sector.

Three homes at Graven Hill were shortlisted for five awards across four categories, including Best Timber Framed Home, Best ICF* Home, Best Off-site Manufactured Home and Best Eco-Home.

James and Gemma Hooker’s Dan-Wood home (pictured above) successfully secured the Best Off-Site Manufactured Home award. Their striking timber-framed home was delivered on a turnkey basis. 

Every component was built off-site and was manufactured within 10 days of finalising the design, and the entire structure was up and watertight in less than a week, providing the homeowners with everything, including decoration, with the only element left to complete being the kitchen.


The award winners, James and Gemma Hooker, with the award
The award winners, James and Gemma Hooker, with the award

There is no gas supply to the property. The fully electric solution includes an air source heat pump which provides 75% of the heating from a free-of-charge natural resource. 

With SIPs panels effectively and healthily insulating the property and a modern method of construction ensuring an exceptionally airtight home, heating bills are kept to a minimum. The design and configuration of the house also take solar gains into account.

The Dan-Wood home was comprehensively customised by the owners, who relocated to Graven Hill from a one-bed flat in London. Doors, windows and walls were moved, and a dark anthracite grey render and larch cladding added along with a balcony to maximise the exceptional views of the Graven Hill woodlands.


The award winners and representatives from Graven Hill at the award presentation
The award winners and representatives from Graven Hill at the award presentation

Gemma Davis, customer experience director at Graven Hill Village Development Company, said: “Working closely with a dedicated Dan-Wood designer, Gemma and James created an exceptional home with extraordinary design choices. 

“The customisation inspiration came from online research and a love of Grand Designs, pairing natural materials with a unique, almost black finish which, coupled with the balcony, provides a contemporary and striking result.

“Ultimately, they have achieved a self-build dream with the speed and ease of an off-site manufacturing solution, and we are delighted their fantastic home has secured this award. It is well-deserved.”

The Build It Awards have run for 11 years and reward innovative products, essential services, pioneering suppliers and awe-inspiring projects following a rigorous and impartial judging process.

Graven Hill remains a hugely popular development. Unique and diverse, it offers a wide range of housing options from self-build and custom-build, which can be tailored to your needs, to apartments and affordable homes. 

It is set in open, green spaces, including woodland, allotments and a network of cycle paths and footpaths. A new primary school is currently under construction.


* ICF is an innovative modern method of construction which combines the intrinsic strength of concrete with the exceptional thermal insulation properties of polystyrene to produce cost-effective, durable structures. ICF has been used in the UK Self / Custom build sector for a number of years due to its performance being far in excess of the required Building Regulations.



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