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Internorm project wins Passive House certification

Crossway © Internorm
31. July 2010

Architect Richard Hawke's low-energy home 'Crossway' was awarded Passive House certification on 12 July 2010. This striking construction, which featured on Channel 4's Grand Designs, is one of the UK's first Code Level 5 homes and features triple-glazed windows from leading Austrian low energy specialist, Internorm.

Crossway, designed by owner and architect Richard Hawke and located near Staplehurst in Kent, is one of the UK's first official Passive Houses and has just been awarded Code Level 5 in the sustainable homes rating system. The Code uses a 1 to 6 star rating system to show the overall sustainability performance of a new home. It sets minimum standards for energy and water use at each level. 

Crossway's remarkable Eco Arch design was adapted from the medieval architectural technique "timbrel vaulting", first used in Catalonia, Spain over 600 years ago. The technique uses thin bricks to create a lightweight, durable building and combines a modern vision by applying Internorm windows from the

Crossway © Internorm

The building demonstrates how contemporary design can integrate innovative technologies to produce a highly sustainable building which is also cost-effective. 


Edition,Varion and Varion4 ranges, together with glass facades from Bohler Fenster . Internorm's triple-glazing minimises the energy needs of the house.

The eye-catching arch, which gives the building its unique shape and acts as the main frame of the building is less than five inches thick and has no material wastage. On top of the arch, gravel and soil have been laid to plant meadow flowers which help weigh the self supporting frame, stabilising it. Locally sourced clay tiles were used instead of bricks as they were more energy efficient. Solar panels have been fitted to the roof to generate 3,600kwh of energy per year, negating the need for extra bought-in power. 

Low energy solutions are not confined to contemporary styles. Traditional designs can just as readily be tailored to meet low energy targets, as evidenced by another Internorm project. Mid-Street in Reigate was the first publicly funded social housing development in the UK to achieve Code Level 5. Consisting of two 2-bedroom flats, Mid-Street uses innovative technologies including a wood-chip biomass boiler, photovoltaic panels and Internorm’s triple glazed windows. The windows complement the construction, which was required to mirror the surrounding area consisting of predominantly red-brick. Tenants now enjoy cheaper fuel bills and live in a more sustainable way.

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