Crackington Haven

A family eco-home in North Cornwall

The property was originally a 1860s barn. It was later converted into three houses in the 1980s. A small run-down cottage sat adjacent to this main structure.

Most building companies who demolish these buildings and start from scratch. However, this results in high carbon emissions and can ruin historical communities. Instead, Irebuild converted the three small homes into one five-bedroom family eco-home. We also demolished the cottage and recycled its materials to build an extension on the house. (The extension is on the left-hand side as you look at the photo).

Building a passive eco-house

Tevina Hill is almost a completely passive house, meaning that it requires very little energy for heating and cooling.

We achieved this by combining intelligent insulation with materials such as cob, lime and cork to ensure that the walls are naturally breathable. We even built a self-cooling larder by utilising cool air from a pipe on northern aspect of the building (as per a Victorian milk window).

Circular green energy system: a bespoke Irebuild design

The property also has its own self-contained circular energy system, delivering sustainable sources of water and heat.

The system includes a thermodynamics system, rain water collection system, solar panels and a Sonnen battery-power wall.

© Irebuild 2021

Low embodied energy

The embodied energy of the construction phase was 50% less than the average new build.

This was achieved by maintaining the property’s original exterior, sourcing materials and labour locally, using sustainable materials such as cob and cork, and recycling materials from the site itself. For instance, we reclaimed 100 tonnes of hardcore from the demolished cottage, as well as various features and fixings.

In addition to this, we planted 7 acres of trees which helped to reclaim the natural habitat.

Download and read the project’s final report below. This will tell you more its energy savings and environmental credentials.

Download Report

Crackington Haven’s positive social impact

Thanks to the support and input of our clients, the project provided employment and recreational opportunities to more than 150 young people and young adults. 

This included: 

  • 2 apprenticeships 
  • 14 national qualifications, including one by the client
  •  2 school visits of more than 100 primary school children 
  • 67 students from Exeter Chiefs Hitz Programme