Passivhaus certification: Warm
Timber & green oak frames: allwood timber construction
photography: Graham Bizley

Grand Designs RIBA House of the Year 2015 - Dundon Passivhaus - Prewett Bizley Architects

Set at the foot of a wooded hill the house is designed to take best advantage of fantastic views across the Somerset levels.  Different rooms relate directly to distinct areas of the garden creating an experiential richness that extends the domain of the interior into the surrounding landscape.  The house has been built to Passivhaus standard which means it achieves very high levels of insulation and air-tightness.  The wall construction is vapour permeable to moderate humidity and create a healthy internal atmosphere.  A mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery provides constant fresh air throughout the colder months when it is undesirable to open the windows.

By digging the lower floor into the hillside planning permission was gained for a 2 storey house that is only marginally taller than the bungalow it replaced.  Its form relates to nearby agricultural buildings rather than the suburban houses in the village.  A gently sloping roof extends beyond the building envelope on three sides to create sheltered outdoor spaces that blur the distinction between house and garden.  This welcoming, sheltering gesture works in harmony with the energy strategy by providing summer shading to the large windows.  Green oak posts support the roof, tied back to the main timber-framed structure which is also clad in green oak that will patinate and weather over time. Internally the rooms are lined in planed oak or painted plywood, a more refined version of the characterful external cladding.


RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize 2015 - Shortlisted
RIBA National Award 2015 – Winner
RIBA Regional Award 2015 (Southwest) – Winner
Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Awards 2015, Best Eco House – Winner
Wood Awards 2015, Private – Runner up
Passivhaus Awards 2015 - Runner up
Structural Timber Awards 2015, Best private housing project – Highly Commended


Country Living Modern Rustic - June 2018, Issue 11 p26-37, 'Points of View'
Red Magazine - July 2018, p106-111, Ben Kendrick, 'Against the Grain'
The Modern Timber House in the UK - 2017, Wood For Good, Peter Wilson (download via this link)
Evening Standard, Homes & Property, Living the Country Dream - 25 September 2017, Philippa Stockley
House & Garden - September 2017, p74-81, Christopher Stocks, 'Passive Principles in Action'
Somerset Life - April 2017, p49-53, Victoria Jenkins. 'Minimalism at Its Best'
Homebuilding and Renovating - January 2016, p91, Michael Holmes, ‘A Triumph in Timber’
DETAIL Green - January 2016, p10-11, Feargal Doyle et al., ‘House in Dundon’
Passivhaus+ - Issue 14, 2016, Ben Adam-Smith
Grand Designs - House of the Year, Channel 4, 4 November 2015
The Daily Mail - Kevin McCloud reveals Britain's best new homes, 4 November 2015
The Daily Telegraph - 29th October 2015, Kevin McCloud - Britain's Best Houses of 2015, Harry Wallop
The Daily Telegraph - 5th September 2015, p3, Jason Orme, ‘Award-winning homes that are built by you’
The FT - 23 July 2015, Britain's Best Designed Home?, Paul Miles
The Sunday Times - 21st June 2015, p22, ‘Architecture: Dundon Passivhaus, Somerset, Prewett Bizley Architects‘
RIBA Journal, 1 May 2015
The Architects’ Journal - 24 April 2015, p30-33, ‘Case Study: Dundon Passivhaus‘
Architecture Today, ‘Dundon Passivhaus’, Inhabit - Architecture Today - February 2015, p2-5