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Hope View House

Location: Cradley, WR13
Completion Status: Complete 03/2017 Certified 02/2018 Occupancy: Occupied 10/2016
Architect: Warren Benbow Architects Consultant: MEAD, Elementary Solutions, Alan Clarke, Alan Pearce
Contractor: Covenhope Construction Limited Client: Private
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2018 UK Passivhaus Awards finalist small projects decalSmall project finalist in 2018 UK Passivhaus Awards. Built into a steeply sloping site, this elegant ‘forever-home’ maximizes the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside in an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty.

The site has a collection of Listed Buildings at the base of the hill prone to flooding. A Paragraph 55 exception dwelling was required to unlock planning policy, and Passivhaus was set as a statement of intent at planning stage.

Planning permission was granted in July 2015 and work commenced in January 2016. Planning success was helped by the fact that Herefordshire Council have been consistently supportive of Passivhaus, with several projects now certified in the county, including the Hereford Archive and Record Centre (HARC), Old Holloway, and Garway Village Hall.

Hope View HouseHope View House © Lisa Lodwig

Pushing the boundaries of energy efficiency via Passivhaus was aspirational enough to inspire us but quantifiable enough to be achievable!

Dean Benbow, Warren Benbow Architects

There are three key components to the concept: trees, meadow, house. The upper part of the site has been planted by the clients with over 1200 deciduous trees, whilst the lower part of the site has been replanted as wildflower meadow and orchard. The long and low south facade, a horizontal accent in the hillside, draws an 85m line of stone between the two landscapes just as the neighbouring dwellings across the valley do. As the local stone craftsmanship is such a key feature of the design, keeping the stone masons happy was an important task on site.  Swales and an attenuation pond alleviate the flood risk downslope.

Hope View House

As the scheme’s key concept was capturing views, the building faces due south with most window openings in the property floor to ceiling glazing on that facade. To avoid potential problems of overheating, the glazed facade is set 1.5m back behind a stone clad arcade which creates a covered colonnade. This simple solution provides optimal solar shading and simultaneously softens the impact of a large array of glazing in a sensitive rural location.

This was a Passivhaus first for the client, architect, and contractor, so the construction was kept as simple as possible. The design required a large amount of the available budget to be devoted to external works and landscaping, so it was imperative that the building envelope was simply detailed. This also suits the simple concept of the design.

We worked out that we are £400 net positive on our electricity for the year. We paid out £600 for usage, received £1000 back in generation. And will continue to do that for 20 years! In addition to that, we just got our RHI approved and will receive £600pa for that for the next 7 years.



Key Stats

  • TFA: 256m2

  • Gross External Area: 440m2

  • Form Factor Ratio: 3.5

  • Construction: Masonry

  • Heat sources: Ground Source Heat Pump & PV

Hope View House 2018 UK Passivhaus Awards Finalist Small Projects


The building was first occupied in October 2016. After fully completing in 2017, the building was certified in 2018. Ideally the clients wouldn’t have moved before the building was finished but its testament to the principles of Passivhaus that even before the heating system was operational, the house was perfectly habitable in October says the Architect. The clients find the changing landscape, as seen through the full-height windows in the main living space, a constant source of delight.


The uniformity of temperature has been a pleasure to discover. I think the biggest factor on health and wellbeing though is the our connection to the light and landscape. Being able to rely on natural light, even on dull days, is more important to me than I realised. I just don’t like having artificial lights switched on. And the connection to the landscape - watching the seasons change on such a large scale, seeing the sunsets every evening, being at eye level with kestrels as they fly by - it really is a privilege. 


Longevity was at the forefront of the minds of all the key team.  With such a successful outcome, it’s unsurprising that the architects are resolved to carry forward all they’ve learned from their first Passivhaus into future projects.


Unless otherwise stated all image credits © Lisa Lodwig

Hope View House 2018 UK Passivhaus Awards Finalist Small Projects Pop Up

Further Information

Hope View House project information

RIBA West Midlands Award 2018

RIBA Journal: 22 May 2018

Interview with Tracey and Roman Iwanczuk - House Planning Help

2018 UK Passivhaus Awards finalist small projects decalBack to 2018 UK Passivhaus Awards shortlist



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