Pioneer Lewes home on shortlist for top architectural award

The first 'Passivhaus' in the South Downs National Park replaced two derelict chicken sheds
The first 'Passivhaus' in the South Downs National Park replaced two derelict chicken sheds

A trend-setting ‘eco home’ in Lewes has been shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) South East Awards 2019.

Hill House Passivhaus, in Juggs Road, is one of 17 schemes shortlisted and the only one from East Sussex.

All will be visited by the RIBA jury next month and the winners will be announced at a dinner to be held at Newbury Racecourse on May 23.

Completed in 2017, it was designed by Lewes-based Meloy Architects and is the first ‘Passivhaus’ in the county town and the South Downs National Park. The ‘Passivhaus’ concept originated in Germany, based on the principle of reducing heating demand to a very low level rather than relying on renewables.

The house replaced two derelict poultry sheds on brownfield land adjacent to the ancient downland droveway of Juggs Road.

Despite the stunning location of the site within the National Park, it is hidden from distant views due to the surrounding topography, existing dwellings and trees of which there are 48 protected trees on and around the site.

The house is arranged as two simple wings for sleeping and living with a linking core grouping the services and entrance to the dwelling. As a certified Passivhaus the dwelling utilises a super-insulated and airtight external envelope resulting in an 85 per cent reduction in energy use from that of a typical house.