A Newcastle-based architectural firm is celebrating after being recognised with two prestigious awards.

Miller Partnership Architects was recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) after winning the RIBA Project Architect of the Year Award and the RIBA North East Award 2018.

The project delivered by Miller Partnership was on behalf of clients Tim and Pippa Kendall and Libby Davidson, which saw the creation of two sustainable homes on Ouseburn Road, Newcastle.

The clients, two next door neighbours who were seeking to downsize within their community, required modest accommodation that was flexible to their changing family needs that would improve sustainability and running costs.

Oakes Energy Services was involved in delivering an energy efficient heating system with the installation of a Kensa Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP). GSHP technology use underground pipes to harness natural heat from the ground that can reduce carbon emissions and produce savings on energy bills.

Comments on the project from the judging panel included: “The design optimises the tight budget that had to include extensive retaining structures, mitigating old mining works under the site, providing deep pile ground source heating systems for both properties and underfloor heating throughout. To achieve this, a palette of robust, affordable materials such as brick, polished concrete floors and steel has been used which reflect the industrial heritage of the area.”

The two houses were constructed through Northern Bear Building Services, while engineering support was provided by JC Consulting and Alan Holmes.

Miller Partnership Architects is an award-winning firm that specialises in residential design, commercial developments and works relating to historic buildings.

Stephen Miller, Director of Miller Partnership Architects, said: “Oakes made a positive contribution to the sustainability of this project, bringing technical expertise and a lot of practical experience to the detailed design process. They were a pleasure to work with.”

Oakes Energy Services, which is part of Houghton le Spring-based Pacifica Group, provides a range of energy efficient services to commercial and domestic applications, which includes designing and installing renewable energy systems to reduce energy consumption and bills.

Jason Oakes, Founder of Oakes Energy, added: “This was an exciting project to be involved in as it is a prime example of sustainable living through GSHP technology. It was a great collaborative effort by all parties involved and Miller is fully deserving of its awards success.”