Unique Reservoir Home Conversion: Top 3 Tips To Consider

20 September 2022

Across the UK as local reservoirs become decommissioned, more and more are being sold at auction and purchased by the public. These unusual structures can create some extraordinarily unique reservoir homes, that truly make an architectural statement.

We at Co Create Architects in Devon, have been fortunate in so far being involved in the creative process of two reservoir conversions, seeing ourselves what a decommissioned reservoir can become. The first home we created was the Bere Alston Reservoir in 2016.

Reservoir Home Conversion
Bere Alston Reservoir

The second home formerly the Marypole Reservoir is currently in the planning stage process.

Reservoir Home Floorplan
Marypole Reservoir

Existing conditions that are essential for your reservoir home

Some of the first considerations when deciding if a reservoir could make your dream home are the existing conditions. There are a number of conditions necessary to understand before committing to your reservoir home:

Size of plot
Service Infrastructure
Structure Size

To be fully prepared when embarking on your reservoir home conversion, we recommend seeking advice from an architect, even before purchasing the land. This small investment into an architect provides a large benefit as to whether the reservoir you are considering is feasible for your dream home. The conditions listed above are essential to this development. For instance, will there be suitable access for your cars, can services such as drainage, electricity and water be installed within your budget, or do you need a reservoir that has a location where these services are easily accessible? Does the existing structure allow you to become a part of its history?

For example, in our first reservoir project, Bere Alston used a grid of brick columns forming the structure, as seen within. These columns were conserved within the home creating a grand design whilst sensitively addressing the existing site.

Reservoir Home Structure

Important Living Standards for your reservoir home

As part of the development process with your selected architect, consideration of living standards will be undertaken to successfully convert the decommissioned reservoir into a home. These living standards include but are not limited to:

Thermal Treatment

Once again, it is recommended that an architect is introduced to the project to ensure each quality is reached. What makes the architect unique in addressing these standards is that they are met through individual design intent, with bespoke architectural designs. Reflecting upon the Bere Alston conversion, drainage, ventilation and lighting was a large consideration whilst working within the confines of the existing structure. These informed a design solution where following the existing column grid, an opening was cut, forming an internal courtyard within the home. The drainage system was then carefully planned in the confined space available around the reservoir, where roof design also aided the run-off speed of surface water to prevent flooding.

Reservoir conversion home

Choose the right reservoir home architect for the job

Reservoirs can make an excellent dream home, but there are several key points to consider. Before purchasing a decommissioned reservoir, hire an architect to make sure your ideas are feasible with the constraints of the site you have chosen and any legal permissions required. This will save you a lot of time, money and stress in the long term. It is essential to consult an architect to make your idea a reality through creating a design that holistically is achievable, reaches living standards and can facilitate the creation of your new home.

Will you be the next person moving into your local reservoir? Feel free to contact us so we can help you create your dream home integrating contemporary architecture with a unique existing site, such as the Bere Altson and Marypolehead Reservoir conversions which you can view here.

Unique reservoir home
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