Blog: SME of the Year SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Noviun Architects

16 June 2020

sponsored by CIOB

SME of the Year SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Noviun Architects

*** Winner! ***

Noviun was re-branded from Hunters South Architects in October of 2018. In the year that has followed, the practice has grown from strength to strength, taking on larger, more complex projects and hiring more staff - some starting in the industry and some with experience.

At the beginning of 2019, Noviun was awarded the Practice of the Year award at the South Coast Property awards after completing some major projects locally and further afield. Since then the practice has grown with project wins on two major school projects including Mayfield School in Portsmouth and Barton Court School in Canterbury.

The new Mayfield School will replace the existing school in which mounting repair and maintenance costs and ever-changing curriculum means the school is no longer suitable for pupils. Tasked over a challenging 6-week engagement process, they managed to come up with a new design that works for both pupils and staff that caters to the modern curriculum.

Barton Court School in Canterbury has been another challenging project win in the last year with another tough 6-week period to develop and design a brand-new school to replace the existing derelict school building in its place.

Noviun’s workforce has increased, from a starting size of 20 to operating an office with 40+ members across all aspects of the design team from young architects to experienced technicians. They have also made 8 promotions this year, recognising the hard work of the people within the studio and enabling them to become figureheads and future leaders of the practice.

Noviun see the climate crisis as the most important initiative within their industry to date and are striving to do their bit to help change the future for many generations. At the end of the last year, Noviun signed up to several key initiatives that affect the industry and the world. The RIBA 2020 Climate Challenge, launched in November 2019, challenges the industry to deliver net-zero whole-life carbon for new buildings and full refurbishment projects by 2030. They have also become signatories of the LETI (London Energy Transformation Initiative). LETI believes that by 2030 all new buildings will need to operate at net zero (annual net zero carbon emissions), which means that by 2025 100% of all new buildings must be net zero.

Noviun has taken part in several charity days, raising money for the homeless over the Christmas period by doing a food collection and cycle challenge. The money raised went towards a local Stone Pillow organisation that provides vital support for homeless and vulnerable people in West Sussex. In October they raised money for Jeans for Genes day, a charity that supports children with life-altering genetic disorders.

Noviun was included in the Top 150 consultants list by Building Magazine in their first full year as a practice.


  • Signing up to key Climate Change initiatives to help reduce carbon consumption across the board
  • Focusing on establishing good Wellbeing and Mental Health practice to help and support all members of the team
  • Winning 2 major projects under tough 6-week engagement processes

About the SME of the Year Award: 

SMEs are the backbone of the industry and are recognised by Constructing Excellence for their dominance of and contribution to the supply chain. Department for Business Innovation and Skills suggest that 99.9% of UK construction contracting businesses are SMEs and some of the greatest innovation and best practice can be identified in this sector.

> Find out more about the other finalists here

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