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The Green
Super Low-energy Detached House

  • Location


  • Completion Date


  • Project Cost


  • Award

The brief was to design a high quality, 4-bedroomed home for a local couple to downsize into. The aspiration right from the outset was to create a contemporary, low energy home that would require very little heating. Mass introduced the PassivHaus Concept to the client as a way

The site was formerly part of the garden of a substantial three-storey, double fronted Georgian house with an Edwardian frontage. It also sits within Acomb Conservation Area in a prominent position on the northern edge of ‘The Green’.

The brief therefore presented a series of challenges that required a sensitive architectural response that could meet the technical criteria of a low-energy building. 

The key to securing planning approval on such a challenging site was through analysis of the surrounding context. Through understanding the urban design of The Green, as well as the design of the houses immediately next to the site, we developed a proposal that the planners felt enhanced the Conservation Area.

The plan is split into two ‘blocks’, making reference to the way the adjacent Georgian/Edwardian house is split into two sets of rooms either side of a circulation space. The blocks are then splayed, due to the wedge shape of the site, to optimise the internal space within the dwelling. The elevations are split into strips, giving a contemporary, vertical emphasis whilst making reference again to the bay windows of the neighbouring elevation.


• Polycarbonate cladding – high thermal performance and lightweight translucent panels

• Red and sand coloured brick to tie in with the materials of the adjacent period house

• Zinc roof/cladding that ties in with the grey slates on the adjacent period house

• Integrated solar thermal Panels

• Triple glazed aluminium clad, windows and doors

• MVHR – Mechanical Ventilation with heat recovery system

• Super-insulated, airtight construction