Camden house becomes first ‘net zero’ home in the UK – and is up for rent for £6k a month


pioneering eco-house in north London verified this week as the UK’s first ‘net zero’ home is up for rent at almost £6,000 a month.

The four-bedroom property on a cobbled mews in Camden Town was designed and lived in by Max Fordham, a trailblazing designer and engineer who died at the beginning of this year.

Now Fordham’s award-winning house, built in 2019 on what was previously his own garden, is up for rent at a monthly rate of £5,85.

The ‘net zero’ certification, awarded this week, was made in line with the UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC) framework and is the first residential scheme in the country to achieve the benchmark.

Max Fordham in his award-winning net zero home in Camden Town

/ Lydia Goldblatt

It means the house has achieved the rare feat of ‘net zero’ carbon emissions both in operation, meaning the energy needed to run the buidling, and through its construction process.

Finn Fordham, one of Fordham’s sons, said: “My Dad loved living in this amazing house. It’s incredible how it needs almost zero heating.  And it’s lovely to imagine how he would chuckle and beam at the news of another accolade, now awarded beyond the end of a lifetime.

“That lifetime was one devoted to beautiful design and engineering. Part of its legacy should be that the principle behind the house is emulated around the world.”

The home, called Max Fordham House after its owner, was predominantly a new building with some parts of the existing structures re-used.

Max Fordham House in Camden Town. For rent through Dexters at £5,850 a month.

/ Tim Crocker

It used concrete with low carbon cement, as well as natural materials such as timber for the roof, window frames, and façade. It has internal insulation made of woodfibre and cork flooring.

It features a roof mounted PV system that meets around 25 per cent of the home’s energy demand, with the remaining electricity supplied by a 100 per cent renewable energy tariff.

This means no offsetting is required for the home to achieve net zero carbon in operation. To ensure the house’s energy efficiency, it has triple-glazed windows positioned so that electric lighting is not needed during the day.

Ali Shaw, partner and principal engineer at Max Fordham LLP, said: “It was my privilege to provide a pair of hands to help realise Max’s vision and to give him a comfortable, tailored home for his final years. The house being Passivhaus certified and now becoming the first to achieve Net Zero Carbon status is a great way to honour Max and his huge contribution to the delivery of sustainable buildings.”


Aydan Dervish, manager of letting agent Dexters in Kentish Town and Camden, described the building as “a unique and exciting development that pushes the boundaries of building performance”.

“Not only will it save future tenants a huge amount on bills, it’s also a joy to live in thanks to its open plan design and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide lots of light.”

Dervish added the house was “the best of both worlds”, located in an extremely peaceful and quiet mews, but also just streets away from Camden Market.

The RIBA award-winning house was designed by Max Fordham LLP in collaboration with bere:architects and Price & Myers, and built by Bow Tie Construction. Fordham himself was also an integral member of the design team.

Fordham, who founded the 250-strong building services engineering firm Max Fordham LLP, passed away in January aged 88.

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