featured project

Godwit House


certified passivhaus
air tightness 0.15ach
most northerly passivhaus in england
project duration: 12 months
natural living roof
multi-award winning

our role

This house has been designed with careful consideration for its environmental impact and is the most northerly Passivhaus in England.
Godwit House is a stunning new build set within the picturesque village of Warkworth in Northumberland. Due to its inverted living design the upstairs open plan living area comes complete with amazing views over Amble harbour and the Coquet Estuary, perfect for nature watching or an early morning sunrise.
On the lower floor there are three double bedrooms all fitted with large floor to ceiling windows to create light and space, a large bathroom, ensuite and guest WC as well as a utility room, walk in wardrobes and lift.
The floors are fitted throughout with engineered oak, perfectly complimenting the oak banisters, staircases, shelving and finishes to the bathrooms and creating an authentic and natural finish for this rural project.
Over 80% of materials used on this build are sustainable and/or recyclable and have been designed to both protect and compliment the surrounding Northumbrian environment.
Concrete use was kept to a minimum by using an insulated raft system. This airtight Passivhaus with its triple and quadruple glazing and timber frame, insulated with recycled newspaper, minimises heat loss through conduction, convection and radiation and thus reduces the environmental impact and the utility bill for the client.
It is fitted with a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery unit allowing it to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The house doesn’t need a gas connection with heating from a ground source heat pump, electricity is generated through the photovoltaic array which sits on the roof and links to solar switches which directs excess electricity to the hot water tank or the car charging point which enables the house to store generated electricity.
Rainwater storage systems have been incorporated into the design which store water that falls on the roof for use in the garden. External surfaces are permeable to ensure surface water returns to the ground. Biodiversity is also promoted here, the living roof made from native species provides not only colour and style but habitats and food for local insects and birds.

The surrounding gardens with two ponds also provide water and other resources for local wildlife.

The timber frame was made and installed by PYC. It arrived onsite in prefabricated panels that had been designed alongside Daniel Dyer of Mawson Kerr to meet the Passivhaus standard. However, in order to meet this standard it was our responsibility to ensure the airtightness of the building.
We ensured all potential penetrations were sealed with air tight taping including around windows and doors. We also had to communicate the importance of the airtightness to sub-contractors onsite such as our M&E colleagues. Due to effective communication and working relationships we were able to successfully ensure that the quality and integrity of the airtightness remained high.
Godwit meets all criteria for a Passivhaus and the air tightness value of 0.15ACH far exceeds the Passivhaus standard of 0.6ACH creating a low energy and low-cost home to run for our client.
It became a certified Passivhaus in 2022.

award winning

We are proud to share that Godwit House has gone on to win the Constructing Excellence North East Residential Project of the Year 2022, a Green Apple Environment Award presented in the Houses of Parliament, a RIBA North East Regional Award 2023 and a RIBA North East Sustainability Award 2023 and it has been shortlisted for a RIBA House of the Year Award.



    Mawson Kerr

    structural engineer

    JC Consulting


    Laura Lees (WHITE ANGLE) & Jill Tate

    Key sub-contractors & suppliers

    PYC, EcoHaus Uk, Green Building Store, North East Electrical, SP Plumbing, Made 2 Measure Roofing & Shawm

    I feel extremely fortunate to have engaged True North Construction to build my new home. They were new to ‘Passivhaus’ construction and MVHR but very keen to learn, and their attention to detail was superb. They are highly skilled craftsmen, particularly evidenced by the joinery, cladding (wood and stone) and tiling. I was very impressed by the genuine collaboration between David and Steven and the architects (Mawson Kerr) and myself and by the ways in which they came up with solutions to potential problems. Throughout the project I had great confidence in this team, and all they employed, and they were totally committed to producing a high quality and beautifully finished house, which they achieved. Despite the pressures of Brexit and COVID, True North Construction managed to juggle everything to keep the project moving forward throughout the construction period. They were very understanding of my needs and desires, and I have huge respect for them and their work.

    Gillian Maude, Godwit House


    8 + 1 =


    Unit 14D Atley Way, Cramlington, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, NE23 1WA


    07493 802277