Wooden veranda outside modern Passivhaus building
Carrowbreck Meadow residential development

Carrowbreck Meadow

The Carrowbreck Meadow development in Norwich is one of the first Passivhaus certified residential projects in the area. To help achieve this Porotherm, Wienerberger’s innovative clay block walling system, was specified.

The Carrowbreck Meadow design combines local ‘barn’ vernacular with a contemporary twist and incorporates simple black and white materials palette. The homes were designed to sit comfortably in their woodland setting and were positioned to take advantage of solar energy throughout the seasons.

Fourteen new dwellings were developed over 12 months- 8 detached and 6 semidetached - which were designed using the Passivhaus principles to build houses with cost effective, long term energy performance. To help achieve this Porotherm, Wienerberger’s innovative clay block walling system, was specified.


The Challenge

The project was commissioned by Norwich city council to promote the Passivhaus standard, which is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the UK. The Passivhaus standard aims to promote the building of houses that have both an excellent thermal performance and exceptional airtightness with mechanical ventilation.

It marks a point at which the local authority were beginning to invest directly in quality local housing, having chosen to invest in a quality, high standard of energy efficiency.

The Solution

The Porotherm system was specified for the project as an efficient alternative to traditional building materials such as timber, concrete or light steel frames. The ability to achieve the level of thermal efficiency and airtightness required for Passivhaus certification was one of the key considerations. The system helped to achieve a thermal bridge and draught free building envelope, which exceeds building regulation requirements for airtightness five times over.

Porotherm was also considered because of its environmentally friendly and long-lasting properties, with a long life expectancy of more than 150 years. It is a stronger, safer and much faster system and allows for direct labour to be used, enabling greater control of costs and an increase in efficiency.

The Project

Carrowbeck Meadow, Norwich

Awards & Accolades

  • RIBA National Award 2017
  • RIBA East Award 2017
  • RIBA McEwen awards - Shortlisted
  • National RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) Award – Excellence in planning to deliver housing
  • RTPI Awards (East of England) – Award for Planning Excellence 2017
  • Norfolk and Norwich Eco-awards – Highly commended in best eco-house category
  • Norfolk Design and Craftsmanship Awards 2017 – Best “New Residential”
  • RICS Award – Highly commended in residential category
  • SPACES (Society for public architecture, construction, Engineering and Surveying) – Shortlisted
  • National Housing Design Awards 2017 – DEFRA Award for rural housing
  • LABC East Anglia Building Excellence Awards – Best new housing development in East Anglia, shortlisted for national awards
  • Norfolk Constructing Excellence Awards – Norfolk Constructing Excellence Club Award for Excellence and Project of the Year
  • Passivhaus Trust Awards – Winner of Large Residential Category
  • Housebuilders Awards 2017 – shortlisted in Best Sustainable Scheme and Best Design for three storeys or fewer
  • Building Awards 2017 - shortlisted under Housing Project of the Year
  • 24 Housing Awards - shortlisted for Best Green Scheme
  • Energy Awards – shortlisted for Residential Building Award
  • AJ Architecture Awards – shortlisted for Housing Project of the Year

The Product

Porotherm Clay Block Walling

Porotherm clay block walling is a faster, drier, safer and more sustainable alternative to traditional blockwork. As a complete building solution, the Porotherm clay block wall system offers efficiencies that compare favourably against virtually every building fabric on the market.

Learn more and order a sample

Carrowbreck Meadow residential Passivhaus development

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