Innovative luxury Devon Passivhaus apartment block wins International Property Awards

Seaton Beach, an innovative seafront development of eight luxury apartments at Seaton in Devon, built to Passivhaus standards, has won ‘Best Apartment Devon’ for the Penthouse and ‘Best Sustainable Residential Development in the UK’ in the International Property Awards and is also the first multi-block development in the UK to be certified as “Passivhaus Plus”.

Seaton Beach at East Walk is a stunning, contemporary four-storey development based in a seaside town on the South West coast of England, which is part of the Jurassic Coastline, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Seaton Beach is one of just over 300 fully certified Passivhaus projects constructed in the UK in the last 15 years. Passivhaus applies a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency, which results in ultra-low energy buildings, reducing their ecological footprint. With a constant supply of silently circulated filtered fresh air, solar panels to minimise the running costs and reduce the carbon footprint, triple glazing, extra insulation and airtight construction, the Seaton Beach apartments are full of light and cool in the summer and warm in the winter, using 90% less energy that a typical new build.

The developers met the ‘Lifetime Homes’ criteria which allows for the property’s design to be made so people can utilise the apartments as a forever home. In addition, a ‘Secured by Design’ Gold Award guarantees the incorporation of features that will enhance the owners’ physical security and protection against crime. Seaton is a very low crime area, however this future proofs the development, much the same as the allocated secure parking that is pre-wired for charging electric cars.

The International Property Awards judges praised the fact that Seaton Beach apartments respect and reflect the beauty of Seaton’s coastline and the surrounding countryside. Their striking, contemporary, yet sympathetic design offers the apartments the special qualities of space and light in the interior which are more than matched outside by the spectacular balcony sea views along the coastline. The elements of the beautiful vista are incorporated into the design by adding curves into the sea front balconies to mirror the shape of the bay. The use of colour highlights the beautiful red cliffs of Lyme Bay and at ground level, pebbles were utilised on the front wall, reminiscent of the beach, thus creating texture and a natural look. As sustainable developers, the team salvaged these from the original boundary wall to be in keeping with the neighbouring properties.

Mike Webb, Seaton Beach managing director, says of the awards, “To be recognised by our industry peers for our Passivhaus apartment block is a great honour. Not many UK developers build to this standard from Germany now over 30 years old and globally recognised. We could have taken the traditional route, however we believed it was the right way forward for the environment. Our new owners will experience extremely low bills with very high comfort levels.” Mike, who re trained as a certified Passivhaus consultant, plans to help other self-builders and developers achieve this standard too, offering a unique “try before you build” consultancy service.