Blog: SECBE Awards 2022 finalist - Newhaven Green Active House Development

22 March 2022

Net Zero sponsored by Willmott Dixon


Newhaven Green Active House Development (by Stickland Wright Architects)

Net Zero Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 finalist

The 4 partners, Miracles by Design, Stickland Wright, Crofton Consulting and Howarth McCall are excited to unveil an exemplar project to address the affordability issues associated with owning residential properties in today’s market: North Lane, Newhaven is a 13-flat development, to Active House standards, that offers residents zero bills, substantial indoor planting, and comfortable, healthy internal environments: all predominantly using natural and recycled materials.

This project was the UK’s first awarded Active House Development. It stands out due to its commitment to low embodied energy and biophilic design. Design decisions were based on low embodied carbon and operational energy at the heart of the scheme and have been carried through to construction.

Fundamentally employing a philosophy of quality construction as the first step in managing energy demand and creating a comfortable environment, the development is provided with high standards of thermal insulation equalling those of Passivehaus and low air leakage values, to present the minimum thermal load to the heating systems.

To address summertime conditions without the need to recourse to mechanical cooling, the building is provided with carefully considered windows, which allow ample natural and purge ventilation for dissipation of heat, at the same time avoid excessive solar gains. Thermal modelling of the summertime scenario was undertaken with several iterations during the design to hone combination of glazing area, admittance values and opening areas. The window design leads to excellent levels of natural daylighting thus reducing artificial lighting running costs.

The heating system comprises a series of all electrical near field infrared heating panels located flush in the ceilings and carefully coordinated with the lighting. These provide 100% efficient heating and offer precise room by room control.

Key achievements:

  • UK’s first accredited Active House home.

  • Financial affordability model.

  • Use of all-natural insulation products in walls and roofs for ultra low-embodied energy.


  • Client: Miracles by Design
  • Project partners: Stickland Wright architecture and interiors, Crofton Consulting, Haworth Mccall

Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 Ceremony on Thurs 30th June 2022.


About the Net Zero Award (sponsored by Willmott Dixon): 

High environmental and climate performance in construction aims to meet present day needs for housing, working environments and infrastructure without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs in times to come. It seeks to limit impact on the natural environment and demonstrate whole life sustainability. It is most effective when organisational culture, high design quality, technical innovation and transferability are abundant. More info.

>> Find out more about the other Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards finalists here

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