The Zero Carbon House in Birmingham was officially awarded best building by the Royal Institute of British Architects this week.

More than 200 people from the construction industry gathered at The Cube in the city centre for the RIBA awards organised by the Birmingham Architectural Association.

Cube architect Ken Shuttleworth presented the winners with the accolades – The Zero Carbon House, in Balsall Heath, and St Luke’s Church of England School, in Wolverhampton.

Chairman of the awards jury Chris Williamson, director of Weston Williamson Architects, said: “Of all the zero carbon projects that I have seen, the Zero Carbon House in Birmingham is the one I would most like to live in.”

The house in Tindal Street, Balsall Heath, has been converted to become carbon neutral and is believed to be the only one of its kind in the country.

The property is not just an architectural triumph, it is also the family home of architect John Christophers, who lives there with his wife Jo and son Theo.

They bought the house for £130,000 in 2007 and spent the next two-and-a-half years doing it up to become their dream eco house.

The original 170-year-old two-bedroomed terrace remained but next to it, on a vacant plot of land, John built an extension.

He kept the Victorian section two storeys, but made the extension three floors with a vast empty room on the top floor with wonderful views across the city.