British Passivhaus stars pipped at post in Bulgarian contest
The Cotswolds-based practice behind England’s first Passivhaus has received an honourable mention in a sustainable design contest in Bulgaria
Seymour-Smith Architects was one of four firms to narrowly miss out on the top prize in the competition to design a Passivhaus near Sofia.
Judges said the Seymour-Smith-led entry featured ‘beautiful sustainable design in material and construction’.
They praised the details of facades, and the ‘wonderful’ presentation of the project.
Seymour-Smith designer Rob Statham said the practice’s performance had been a pleasant surprise and could pave the way for its first work in Europe.
‘It was a great opportunity to try something different and to design to a different vernacular,’ he told AJ.
‘We would love to work in Scandanavia, where they are several steps ahead of the UK in Passivhaus, or in Eastern Europe.’
The two-stage open ideas competition sought 120m² to 180m² schemes that proved Passivhaus homes could be ‘affordable and beautiful’. Entries had to meet an annual heating and cooling requirement of 15 kWh per m² per year.
The competition was won by dontDIY and Asian European Engineering.
Seymour-Smith’s Underhill House was certified in 2010 as the first Passivhaus in England.