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Max Fordham House

Having been recognised as Residential Project of the Year 2021 at the CIBSE Performance Awards, this multi-award winning three-bedroom Passivhaus home is an exemplar of collaboration, innovation and solution focused design.

People, and the things they do, generate heat all the time. This should be enough to keep warm inside a home on a freezing, overcast day. Achieving this means that a building is sustainable. This is the first premise of the design of Max Fordham’s house.

Designed and built in collaboration with Max, bere:architects, Price & Myers and Bow Tie Construction, this three-bedroom Passivhaus home is an exemplar of collaboration, innovation and solution-focused design. Set in a tight, urban infill site, previously Max’s garden, the project shows what is possible and achievable as a technical concept for the housing sector.

“An important test bed project for a lifelong environmental innovator”
RIBA London Sustainability Award Winner 2019

The building’s thermal envelope, its ventilation system and its windows are designed so that the heat loss on a freezing cold winter’s day is no more than the heat generated by people living in the house.

The high performance thermal envelope completely wraps the building’s structure, eliminating thermal bridges. The envelope is also airtight, eliminating uncontrolled air exchange. The ventilation provision needed to provide healthy environments is then controlled and minimised mechanically, with heat recovery efficiency in excess of 90%.

As well as providing beautiful daylight, windows allow solar radiation to warm a house during the day. At night, a window typically loses ten times as much heat as a wall. On freezing overcast days, more heat is lost through a window at night than gained during the day. We have altered the behaviour of the windows so that they are net contributors to the building’s heat balance, even on a freezing, overcast day. Automated, insulated shutters allow the windows to become much more insulating at night so that the windows are thermally a net benefit every day. The windows and their positions are designed so that electrical lights are not needed during the day.

What people are saying about FOOTPRINT+

What people are saying about FOOTPRINT+

  • FOOTPRINT+ is the place to showcase how we can build sustainable developments and reduce the carbon footprint of building projects. In tackling the climate crisis, these are the conversations we need to be having.
    Peter Kyle
    MP for Hove, Shadow Minister for Justice
  • Despite the global impact of COVID-19 the UK property industry is resilient. FOOTPRINT will provide a forum for everyone to create a deliverable agenda for sustainable growth in the UK property market.
    Francis Hilton
    Pelican Developments
  • The construction sector has a huge role to play in enabling Local Authorities to meet ambitious carbon zero targets. I believe that FOOTPRINT will be the event that supports the creative discussions and working relationships required to achieve Zero Carbon living.
    Duncan Baker-Brown
    Architect, Lecturer at University of Brighton & Campaigner for Circular Economy
  • At last an event that addresses the key issues facing design, construction and development in the UK. The rich mix of consultants, clients, stakeholders and government together with the great location will make Footprint a huge success.
    Paul Monaghan Director of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects
    Liverpool City Region Design Champion and founding member of Architects Declare
  • The idea of the jobs fair on the last day is brilliant. It's exactly what school and university leavers need, and as a CDO, I realise that finding high calibre candidates to work for your organisation is a hugely time absorbing process.
    Adam Brockley
    Founder of Scape Student Living
  • As we move to create the ‘new normal’ post Covid, we have an unprecedented opportunity to re-write the rules around our environmental impact on the planet, this conference does exactly that.
    Gavin Stewart
    Executive Director Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership
  • FOOTPRINT is a hugely exciting opportunity to address the climate emergency which we all face as global citizens.
    James Blakey
    Planning Director Moda Living
  • FOOTPRINT+ has been set up to answer a need in the property market. We have all traipsed off to the South of France previously to meet up and discuss property issues. This is no longer a responsible action given the carbon footprint of getting there. Combined with the exit of Britain from the EU, we, in the UK market need to meet and discuss our national and international concerns. FOOTPRINT+ is set up to permit us to do this in an accessible, affordable and responsible way
    William Edgerley
    Director Edge Ahead Limited