East Anglia: RIBA Building of the Year award for Modece

A Suffolk architects firm is celebrating after one of its projects was named East of England Building of the Year by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The honour went to Green Cottage at Birdbrook, near Haverhill, an ultra eco-friendly home designed by Modece Architects with studiomgm architects, both based at Hartest, near Bury St Edmunds, for client Wendy Norris.

It was selected from among seven category winners at a presentation ceremony held at Homerton College, Cambridge, with Green Cottage also also claiming the Sustainability Award, sponsored by SolarCube, for “buildings that demonstrate how the highest standards of environmental performance can be incorporated durably into their design”.

Peter Goodwin, jury chairman and director of Chambers Goodwin & Partners, Rickmansworth, said, “A very green house for a very green client. This detached building has it all – a wind turbine (which really works!) on a hilltop site generating surplus electricity, earth pipes for fresh air, solar water heating, rainwater harvesting providing potable water, composter and reed bed for foul water, and all constructed of recycled and/or recyclable materials with a large garden for vegetables.

“There is no heating apart from a wood burning stove and a wood fired cooker. The clients only pay council tax and a nominal water charge and the house, which achieves Passivhaus insulation values and airtightness, but with double not triple glazed windows, is truly zero carbon.

“It is also partially self-build which accounts for its low budget. What an example to us all of how to nurture the world`s resources,” he added.