Passivhaus Affiliate

Quaker Meeting House aims for Passivhaus

With aspirations to become a deeply sustainable meeting house at the heart of the local community, planning permission has been secured for a new Quaker Meeting House in Hampshire designed by PHT member Arboreal ArchitectureThe proposed New Milton Friends Meeting House follows the Quakers in Britain commitment to living sustainably and justly on this earth.

New Milton Friends Meeting House © Arboreal Architecture

Proposed exterior view.


Replacing the existing ad-hoc Meeting House which had poor thermal performance, numerous building fabric defects, and below standard facilities and layout, the new 2-storey detched design aims to meet Passivhaus standard whilst also striving for maximum material reuse from the existing structures, and utilising low carbon and locally sourced renewable materials.

The facade of the building and entrance court has been designed to demonstrate openness to the local community with clear lines of sight into the building alongside carefully considered landscaping for views of green planting and provision of valuable habitat for local wildlife.


New Milton Friends Meeting House © Arboreal Architecture

Section through the proposed Main Meeting Room

Expanding the existing buildings footprint, at the heart of the new 150m2 building will be a double-height Main Meeting Room which embodies the Quaker principle of simplicity with locally sourced oak panelling and clay plaster walls and ceiling. Located in an urban residential area, the Meeting Room has two small low-level windows and one high-level clerestory skylight to help restrict privacy issues with neighbours. The skylight scoop has been designed to provide useful winter solar gains and provide dramatic top daylighting. The proposal also includes:

  • A spacious and welcoming reception lobby
  • Small open plan kitchen
  • Accessible WC (plus one extra standard WC)
  • Platform lift to the 1st floor.
  • 2 smaller enclosed meeting rooms (for use by the community)
  • Open plan library (off the foyer)
  • 1 fully accessible parking space with an electric charging point
  • Cycle hoops
  • Covered entrance with a green roof
  • Metal solar shading to the 1st floor south-facing windows,
  • Solar panels on the saw tooth roof


Ground floor plan

New Milton Friends Meeting House Ground floor plan ©Arboreal Architecture

First Floor plan

New Milton Friends Meeting House 1st floor plan © Arboreal Architecture


The specification will include recycled brickwork and tiles, locally sourced timber cladding, triple glazed windows, and super-insulated timber structure. Roof tiles, historic bricks bound with lime mortar, timber framing and structure from the existing building will be carefully dismantled, documented and set aside for reuse. 


The twin challenges of the project are the highly constrained site (with external walls on three of the boundaries and shading from neighbouring buildings) and a poor form factor resulting from the double-height space. These factors have led to the need for very low u-values and carefully sized and located windows to make best use of the lower winter sun whilst mitigating summer overheating.  We are excited about delivering a building that provides year round thermal comfort and excellent acoustics for the silence that is required for the Quaker meetings.

Harry Paticas, Aboreal Architecture



Key Stats

  • No. Occupants: 6-30

  • Planning won: May 2019

  • TFA: 124m2

  • Form Factor: 4.5

  • Construction: Insulated timber frame

New Milton Friends Meeting House roof plan © Arboreal Architecture



Predicted Energy Performance

A south-facing roof with solar panels maximises the exposure to solar energy and large south-facing windows hope to achieve optimal winter solar gain. The PV panels hope to generate a 10kWp output – which provides potential for the scheme to meet Passivhaus Plus Standard.

Airtightness (≤0.6ACH@50pascals)

0.6 ACH@50pascals

Thermal Energy Demand (≤15kWh/m².yr)

14.7 kWh/m².yr

Thermal Energy Load (≤10W/m²)

9.7 W/m²

Primary Energy Demand (≤120kWh/m².yr)



The project aims to become an exemplar of best practice in sustainable construction by following the Association of Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) six pillars of sustainability. The scheme will be conducting detailed Building Lifecycle Analysis, which will form part of a research project into reducing the embodied impacts of green house gas emissions in construction.


Key Team

New Milton Friends Meeting House © Arboreal Architecture

The proposal was granted full planning approval in May 2019 by the New Forest District Council.


Further Information

All images unless otherwise stated © Arboreal Architecture




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16th September 2019

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