According to the national press, tree houses are currently in vogue, with hotels, leisure parks, stately homes, private estates and celebrities choosing to invest in timber treetop and lodge constructions. Even the downturn in the housing market hasn’t diminished demand, as householders boost the value of their properties by building a tree house in the garden. Their popularity is attributed to a growing interest in environment issues, especially sustainable
living, and a desire to be at one with nature, many tree houses being designed specifically for adults.
is an award-winning company that specialises in the development of inspirational and sustainable
wooden buildings, based on a lengthy heritage of designing luxury tree houses for residential and commercial clients. It provides exclusive accommodation for the hotel and leisure sector, supplying such clients as the 5-star Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, Centre Parcs, Thomson Holidays, Scott Dunn travel specialists and von Essen luxury country house hotels.
When it launched its prefabricated modular 4-bed tree house,eco-Perch
, at this year’s Grand Designs show, it chose Granite Transformations
’ recycled glass agglomerate material for the inbuilt kitchen worktop and breakfast bar, in an appropriate shade of green. This seems to be a good fit, since Blue Forest
is renowned as a specialist in eco-friendly tree house construction, using sustainably sourced timber and rainwater harvesting systems. While Granite Transformations
’ has pioneered the use of post-consumer recycled material in the construction of its worktops and parent company, the Trend Group, focuses on sustainability in the manufacturing process, gaining ISO 14001 environmental management accreditation.
Developed to meet the demands of the tourism sector for high quality, affordable and sustainable
accommodation and designed to comply with the Caravan & Mobile Home Act, eco-Perch
is Blue Forest
’s first prefabricated tree house unit, which can be sited on the ground or perched amongst the treetops. The highly insulated and double-glazed timber construction is equipped with low voltage LED lighting, wall-mounted flat screen TV and DVD, efficient A-rated LPD or electric water heating, and an L-shaped worktop and breakfast bar, with integrated fridge, sink unit, gas hob and oven.
The ‘Dream Green’ Granite Transformations
recycled glass material chosen for the kitchen surfaces has excellent environmental credentials, being made from used beer, wine and mineral water bottles, and it offers outstanding resistance to the knocks, spills, cuts, heat and day-to-day wear that the eco-Perch
cooking and dining area is likely to experience. The tough yet extremely lightweight and flexible surface could also be contoured and fitted around the radiused breakfast bar, complete with a decorative edge strip, and the large sheet sizes enabled a virtually seamless countertop, with minimal joins.
“We had a lot of favourable comments about the green recycled glass worktop and people loved the curved end of the breakfast bar. It’s features like that which help sell the eco-Perch
design and we shall certainly be offering Granite Transformations
as an option, although it’s likely that customers will actually choose a more conservative colour,” says Director, Simon Payne, who founded the company with his brother, MD Andy Payne, both of whom enjoyed the outdoor life in East Africa as youngsters.
With around 60 different worktop colours to choose from, in glass, quartz or Italian granite finishes and all with a high recycled material content, there are plenty of Granite Transformations
options for eco-Perch
commercial or private buyers. Unlike hardwood countertops, which can be easily cut, burnt or scorched, there is no need for oiling, sealing or resanding, whilst unlike weighty natural granite or stone, there are no extra reinforcements or regular maintenance required.
can install an eco-Perch
within three or four days, delivering the timber clad and framed building in four modular parts. Having fabricated the worktop and breakfast bar counter off-site, Granite Transformations
fitters can carry out their installation in just half a day, working in the customer’s newly-assembled eco-Perch
or at the Blue Forest
factory. Either way, there is a 10-year worktop material warranty for added peace of mind.
“It’s delightful to see our recycled glass worktop featured in this innovative tree house design. It was received very well at the launch and I’m confident that eco-Perch
buyers will look for the same quality of finish,” says Granite Transformations
’ UK Chief, Danny Hanlon. “Alongside our mainstream business of kitchen makeovers, our finishes are used for luxury yachts, motorhomes, canal barges and caravans, where product features like flexural strength, lightness, durability, resistance to wear and, in this particular instance, eco-sustainability are desirable attributes.”