Projects: Grove Cottage

Grove Cottage

Keywords: Architectural designEnerphitrefurbishmentresidential

Grove Cottage, Hereford

low energy-low carbon refurbishment

Grove Cottage was the first refurbishment in the UK to be formally certified under the Passivhaus Institut’s new refurbishment Standard ‘EnerPHit’. Its energy performance and comfort over the last 2 years has been outstanding, with c. 80% less gas used and 45% less electricity than an equivalent sized home, whilst being maintained at 21 degrees throughout the heating season. Indoor air quality is excellent, there has been no overheating during hot weather. Gas for space heating, hot water and cooking has cost approx £250 each year.

Solid walled victorian townhouse (1869) extended and refurbished using CarbonLite principles and aiming for Passivhaus levels of energy performance.

By applying the principles and methodologies of the AECB CarbonLite programme, natural gas consumption for space & water heating has been reduced by 80% compared to the average measured performance of a typical UK house of the same size.

See a one page project factfile here from the 2012 Passivhaus Trust Awards

  • See more images and its energy performance here on the AECB database here.

  • The builder team (ECO-DC was led by Mike Neate and Keith Fishburn. Other building team members included: Steve Ede, Andy Robins, Tim Crosskey. Local timber was sourced from Morgan Brothers Sawmill, Mordiford, Hereford.

All our portfolio projects

Garway Community Centre

Garway Community Centre The rural Herefordshire village of Garway is busy planning for a sustainable future, with construction of a new, Passivhaus certified community centre. It has taken many years’ development, but a successful bid to Big Lottery Fund in 2016 has made the project a reality. Currently three quarters through construction, the centre will provide many functions for the village, including a large multi-functional hall with full stage /...

Harold Street

A high-quality deep retrofit. Work carried out by Tom Straker, AECB member. Completed 2015. The clients are committed environmentalists, and were keen to demonstrate best practice in this modest town house.

Church Cottage

Part retrofit, part new-build extension to a small-holding cottage on the Welsh borders. Building work carried out by Mike Whitfield builders, AECB members.


Since 1998, we have been involved with projects at the Centre for Alternative Technology; working as both design consultants, and on site, as specialist rammed earth building contractors / trainers. We worked with Pat Borer, architect on the rammed earth aspects of the ATEic bookshop and offices; and then as consultants for the WISE building.

Cherry Orchard

Cherry Orchard is a Camphill residential home and farm. The building we designed is for workers and co-workers to have a generous space for their indoor gardening activities; it combines a learning centre / potting shed, with a large south-facing greenhouse. The client group were interested to use the focus of the design process, to also look at the interlinking of all the external spaces between buildings. Adele Mills led...

Huckenden Barn

Conversion of this beautiful historic Chilterns barn into a useful and dramatic, comfortable living / social space. The building work was carried out by Neil May Builders. Neil was then in the process of founding Natural Building Technologies. We had the opportunity, as conservation and ecological specialists, to trial many techniques, using natural insulants, lime mortar plinth to stonework, avoiding underpinning etc. Work was completed in 1996. The project won...


A new Passivhaus-certified detached dwelling; completed Autumn 2016. This house replaced a coach house that had been converted in the 1970’s. Our clients wanted a highly energy efficient house for its comfort value, and reduced running costs. As early adopters of energy efficiency / ecological building on other projects, they were happy to adopt the Passivhaus as an important contemporary target. The building was built by Ecovert Solutions, AECB members.


A renovation and extension project of a courtyard of derelict stone buildings; outside Aberdovey, Gwynedd. The building work was completed in 2006, and the project subsequently won an award for its quality as a tourism facility in the Snowdonia National Park. The focus of the renovation was not towards a specific energy standard; but to focus on good quality energy efficiency ( Internal Wall Insulation was required, due to need...

Berins Hill, Oxfordshire

This timber framed house was completed in 2005 for a private client in Oxfordshire. The design, being in an AONB, had to work within tight planning volume requirements and aesthetic criteria as a replacement dwelling. INITIAL CONCEPT We were commissioned to design a new replacement dwelling on the site of an old corrugated iron chalet in the Chilterns AONB; a previous architect’s design had been refused planning. The building was...

The Greenwood Centre’s Woodland College

The GWC is a nationally renowned educational charity, working to promote coppice and green wood crafts, and management of deciduous woodlands. It runs a variety of social forestry courses. We have been involved with various building projects at the GWC since 1995, when we were commissioned to design the Woodland College. This building prioritised use of local timber alongside modern energy efficient timber frame construction. In 2006 the building was extended...