Designer products from Legrand and its Group Company, Bticino, became stars of the small screen when they were specified for use in an ambitious project that featured in the new series of the Channel 4 programme, Grand Designs.

The Cheltenham House on London Road, Cheltenham, is an eco-friendly, underground home that showcases new designs, products, materials and construction methods. Amongst the chosen products are a selection of wiring accessories from Legrand’s Synergy Modern range and the new Bticino Axolute video door entry system, both of which were specified for the project by electrical designers, Design Installation Services Group Cheltenham.

Mark Thornton of Design Installation Services Group Cheltenham said: “Legrand’s area sales manager, Phil Peer was showing me the Axolute and Synergy ranges for the first time when I realised they were ideal for The Cheltenham House due to the fact they represent the best in both cutting edge technology and interior style. As a result, when I presented them to the owners they were determined to use them in the project.”

The brainchild of Tim and Zoe Bawtree, The Cheltenham House has been built in the back garden of the couple’s Grade II listed regency town house in the centre of the Gloucestershire town.

“We received planning permission to build on a 24 x 6m plot, but unfortunately my original designs didn’t really fall in line with, or come anywhere close to, meeting the stringent rules and regulations of a conservation area that is surrounded by Grade II listed buildings,” explained Tim Bawtree. “As a result, the only way to get through planning was to build underground.”

Having completed the project Mr Bawtree now believes that it is time to reconsider building underground in light of advances in technology and building materials, pressing environmental issues and the desperate demand for housing.

“Underground housing really is the way forward,” he said. “It is less susceptible to the impact of global warming, and reduces both energy consumption and land use.

“In the past light transfusion, moisture exclusion and capital investment have been the key obstacles to the widespread adoption of underground housing, but The Cheltenham House showcases cutting edge technology and how it is now able to overcome these obstacles and therefore, make it a viable option.”

Phil Peer of Legrand said: “The Cheltenham House project really does show just what can be done to resolve a great deal of the issues surrounding new housing in this country.

“It is imaginative, innovative and, most importantly, practical and I’m convinced that the benefits it brings in terms of the environment can ensure that this property will be the first of many in the UK. As such I’m delighted our products were selected for this, literally, ground breaking development.”

The new series of Grand Designs is currently being aired on Channel 4 and you can find out more about The Cheltenham House project by visiting www.thecheltenhamhouse.com.

For more information on Legrand and Bticino products called 0845 605 4333 or visit either www.legrand.co.uk or www.bticino.co.uk.

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