Architect Richard Hawkes of Hawkes Architecture, renowned for his sustainable designs, built his family home in the English countryside using Passivhaus (passive house) techniques. As mentioned in the British online magazine, building, construction, design, “the iconic feature of this pioneering house is a scarily thin soaring arched roof. Made by gluing clay tiles together using Plaster of Paris without any formwork, this in turn supports over 100 tons of soil which is now host to a thriving wildflower habitat. The house has incorporated the country’s first Solar PV-T system, harnessing the sun’s energy as both heat and electricity and a phase change material heat storage system.”


  • MVHR Heat recovery ventilation system
  • 5kW heat exchanger linking heat store with MVHR system
  • 220v voltage optimization Triple Glazed throughout
  • 3.5kW PV-T system (PV and solar thermal combined)
  • 4.5kW PV system
  • 12kWh Li-Ion battery storage system
  • 11kW wood pellet boiler linked to PCM store
  • Immersun unit fitted
  • 580 ltr Phase Change thermal store (1,200 ltr water equivalent)
  • PCM thermal mass board fitted in south facing rooms
  • 500m3 Rainwater harvesting system
  • On-site wastewater treatment
  • Extensive building physics & resource consumption monitoring


  • Passivhaus certified
  • NO underfloor heating or radiators
  • 26,000 hand made clay tiles made 4 miles away from the site
  • 10 tons of recycled newspaper insulation
  • Super insulated – generally 300mm thick insulation
  • Crushed glass bottle and recycled tire flooring

See more photos and learn more about this impressive project at Hawkes Architecture.