New Build Development and Racehorse Establishment

New Build Development Case Study

The Project

Nestled within the The North Wessex Downs, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), and overlooking the rolling hillside. RBD were commissioned to design a new build development in Lambourn, West Berks.  This sustainable, contemporary house also incorporates a racing establishment to train racehorses, jockey accommodation with stables and administrative offices.

The residential accommodation element has been carefully considered both in terms of aesthetic qualities and functionality and is of noteworthy architectural merit. Significant attention has also been given to sustainable design in both the interests of the business and the environment.

The Residential element is completely unique in design and character with a cathedral like entrance hall running through the house and a winged staircase made of high-quality oak. The development was designed in response to the site and the path of the sun. The house has large areas of glazing to capture the breath- taking views beyond.

The racing establishment design reflects the need for excellent staff accommodation set in close proximity to 60 horse boxes. The proposed business, which centres around the training and care of extremely valuable horses, must attract top trainers and staff and be able to cater for and entertain racehorse owners who visit on a regular basis. The design was the result of lengthy consultation with well-respected and experienced individuals in the industry.

Traditional courtyard stables for 30 horses are proposed on the upper part of the site. The structure has rendered walls and a slate roof and includes an office, tack and boot room and two barns.

Two horse walkers located to the south of the courtyard stables were coloured green to blend into the landscape.

New staff accommodation is located on the lower ground, next to a steep bank. This structure, containing all residential facilities, has been carefully set back from the tree line towards the south. The new building has rendered and stone walls and a slate roof.

An American barn for 30 horses was constructed on the lower part of the site The structure has concrete panel and face brickwork walls, green Plastisol coated Ventair cladding and a natural grey fibre cement roof.

The development takes into account sustainable design considerations including photovoltaic cell and ground source heat pump technology for the residential accommodation. Rainwater harvesting and foul waste treatment systems were implemented for the whole development.

Set in a prime location within an area of outstanding natural beauty .


A Biodigester was installed as they are superb solutions for rural homes. The biodigester system utilises organic waste, particularly animal and human excreta, to produce fertiliser and biogas. A biodigester consists of an airtight, high-density polyethylene container within which excreta diluted in water flow continuously and are fermented by microorganisms present in the waste. The fermentation process is anaerobic, i.e., it takes place without oxygen, and the bacteria responsible for decomposition are methanogenic (i.e., they produce methane, also known as biogas). The processed manure is an organic, pathogen-free fertiliser that is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The products are primarily for self-consumption on farms.

Ground Source Heat Pump

A ground source heat pump was just one of the natural renewable sustainable resources installed at our Berkshire New Build Home and Stable Yard Project.

Ground source heat pumps use solar heat that has been absorbed by the ground or air, which is transferred (pumped) and used to heat up residential or commercial buildings. Heat pumps are also effective for heating water. The technology used is similar to that of a refrigerator only this time the end result is heat instead of cold air.

In the case of a ground source heat pump, the energy comes from passing a glycol/water mix through pipework buried in the ground. The temperature of the earth tends to be very stable 1m deep, and there is minimal variation in this temperature across the seasons. The fluid in the pipework absorbs energy from its surroundings and delivers this to the heat pump within the property, where it is used in the process described in the earlier paragraph. After the energy has been given off to the heat pump the cooled fluid passes back into the pipework to collect more heat.

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