Three Glens

Three Glens is an ultra modern eco farmhouse, designed by Mark Waghorn Architects. The 450m2 five-bedroom farmhouse is situated on a working farm near the village of Moniaive, South West Scotland.

Three Glens obtains all its energy from renewable sources, and exports any surplus.  The total target consumption for the house is under half that of a typical house, and by far the greatest reduction is in space heating.

The following measures for achieving substantial reductions in energy required for space heating have been taken:

  • The external envelope is super-insulated.
  • The building is extremely air-tight.
  • Direct solar energy is harnessed in the winter

Research into energy use around the home has led to innovations that take advantage of the natural conditions. Clothes will be dried quickly by the sun in a ventilated glazed area linked to the laundry, while a food store will take advantage of cool nights to keep food fresh throughout the day. The design also incorporates self-contained wings that have been designed to suit the particular activities they accommodate. Different heating or cooling strategies have been developed for each wing in accordance with their requirements.



Three Glens is energy self-sufficient. Renewables such as solar energy and wind power are used to guarantee a constant supply of heat and electricity. A wind turbine generates the required electricity and export any excess to the National Grid. In addition highly insulated external walls and airtight windows and doors contribute to achieving the highest degree of sustainability.

Renewables such as solar energy, wind power and bore holes are used to guarantee a constant supply of heat, water and electricity, making Three Glens truly energy self-sufficient. The 34 m wind turbine generates enough electricity for 25 homes. The excess electricity is exported to the National Grid, generating extra income for the farm. Two 100m deep bore holes provide ground source heat and a third 100 m bore hole supplies water that is UV filtered for drinking and heated for washing and showering by using thermal solar panels. A wood burning kachelofen masonry heater supplies ambient heat to the living room, snug room and study. Generous insulation is crucial for reducing energy consumption, therefore triple glazed windows and doors have been installed.


Clients and architect share the same passion for the environment and the philosophy that encourages people to reduce, re-use, recycle and recover.


Three Glens incorporates as many local materials as possible, many of them found directly on the farm. These include oak for the exterior cladding; stone from neighbouring fields for a dry-stone wall that passes right through the interior of the house; turf for the roof, also taken straight from a neighbouring field and the farm’s own treated sheep’s wool for insulation.

The interiors have been furnished following the same principle; reclaimed railway sleepers have been sawn, treated and polished by local craftsmen to create wooden floors and functional furniture; skins from cows in the farm have been used for upholstery; artwork by local artists is displayed around the house; every item and every detail tells of a previous life, a story that makes every corner in this house unique.


Next project
The Nottingham H.O.U.S.E (Home Optimising the Use of Solar Energy)
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