Building your own home is a journey.

Whether you are just starting out, or are well on your way; Hartwyn can provide detailed guidance about all stages of your build – from initial design and consultation, through planning and building control, to the actual build. Along with our industry partners we manage a full turnkey service – Architects, engineers, building inspectors, trades – all working together to realise your dream.

Why build with Hartwyn?

Our buildings combine modern building science and time-tested heritage materials and techniques. We seamlessly integrate cutting edge technologies that lower our energy consumption with a palette of natural materials that have proven their durability over centuries.

Hartwyn build homes that are:
  • Efficient and economical to run
  • Affordable to build
  • Beautiful spaces, designed to suit your site
  • Exceptional air quality
  • Non-toxic
  • A simple and stress free process that involves you on your own terms

The Hartwyn Build Method

The entire build is run as a training program for students who want to learn how to build natural, healthy, efficient homes from start to finish.

This construction method means that the client gets the best of both worlds:
Professionals run the project and are accountable for build length, budget and provide a warrantied quality product, just as with a conventional company.

But with the bulk of the labour being provided at a much lower fee, the build cost is offered significantly cheaper to the client.

Hartwyn are the only natural building company able to offer this most sustainable build option coupled with competitive prices.

An Example

A client’s land is surrounded by Sweet Chestnut trees. By far the most sustainable option for wall cladding (slats which look a bit like fencing) would be to selectively fell a tree onsite. This also creates more growth.

We then create shingles (the slats of wood used to clad the structure) from the tree onsite and clad the building to create a truly low impact, weather tight building that fits into the landscape.

The shingle making process takes time, and to pay a team to make them would cost thousands. Or, we could buy in wood shingles shipped across the world at a high carbon and monetary price.

Hartwyn use a team of highly motivated students who are all eager to learn and practice natural building techniques, so we can create the most sustainable solution for little more than the porridge it takes to fuel the team.

The fair exchange of comprehensive education for diligent labour removes the barriers to using the most sustainable options, allowing us to build to very high environmental standards at a fraction of their true cost.


How Is The Hartwyn Build Method Sustainable?

  • Using local soil to create beautiful earthen plasters or earthen floors
  • Using heritage lath and plaster techniques
  • Creating low impact foundations (That require lots of hard work!)

– to name just a few. Get in touch if you would like to discuss a specific project

We have the benefit of time – at very low cost to you, which in turn provides a finished building that is healthy, beautiful, affordable and a very low cost environmentally.

What about conventional construction?

Modern construction focuses on labour saving and is not sustainable. The current economy places a premium on speed and opts for blanket solutions due to the high price of the labour involved. Many of these materials carry a very high environmental cost in:

  • The original mining
  • The processing
  • The transportation
  • The way the materials behave once installed (plastics degrading over time and leaching toxins into water for example).

The entire construction industry has this at it’s foundation. These market forces set the type, quality and cost of modern buildings but also create the inherent problems.

Traditional materials and technologies are not poor cousins to the wonders of the modern age. They are mostly forgotten, or misunderstood and they have a great deal to offer.

They are:

  • Versatile
  • Economical
  • Healthy
  • Beautiful to behold
  • Very satisfying to live in.

The factor that holds them back from an equal footing in the modern building lexicon is time. It takes time to learn a heritage artisanal skill, and it takes time to implement. When you try to plug a traditional technology or trade in to the modern construction economy you end up paying significantly more as the labour time involved is often two or three times the modern equivalent.

The results however, speak for themselves.

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