Seven Passivhaus developments
Councils, housing associations and developers are increasingly turning to Passivhaus to deliver energy efficient homes for communities
Report from – Damien Carr
Crowbeck Meadows (Image: Hansom Barron Smith)
June has been a good month for the energy efficiency standard - Passivhaus Trust won the Ashden Award and Nottingham getting the green light for its first Passivhaus residential development.
The UK Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings went to The Passivhaus Trust, for its work promoting and upholding the rigour of the standard, which is based on high levels of insulation, airtightness, passive solar gain, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. So far 500 homes and buildings have been certified to the Passivhaus standards, with some of these homes forming part of residential developments, mostly led by local authorities and housing associations, though private developers are getting in on the act.
Below are selection of residential developments that give a flavour of the current state of the Passivhaus landscape in the UK.
Ranskill Gardens, Nottingham
(Image: Positive Homes)
Nottingham City Council gave Positive Homes planning permission in June 2017 to build eight Passivhaus homes on the site of a derelict council-run children’s home. The homes will be constructed using the Beattie Passive kit home system, with Positive Homes, creating a small factory and hiring a workforce, including apprentices to build the timber-frame kits. The developer says it intends to build 500 “super-low energy homes” in the East Midlands over the next five years.
Three Score and Carrowbeck Meadow, Norwich
Three Score (image: Hamsom Barron Smith)
Norwich has been a leading light for Passivhaus in the UK. In April 2015 Norwich City Council announced its Fabric First Construction Framework to build energy efficient homes. Among those is the Three Score scheme in the western part of the city, which saw construction begin in June for 172 homes designed to high levels of energy efficiency, 112 of which will be built to the Passivhaus standard and represents the largest Passivhaus development of its kind in the UK. Within the Greater Norwich area is Carrowbeck Meadow, a development of 14 Passivhaus homes, 43% of which are affordable homes. Both schemes have been designed by Hamson Barron Smith.
Chester Balmore, London
(Image: Rick Mather Architects)
This 53-home development in the London Borough of Camden is currently the UK’ largest of its kind. Part of Camden Council’s Community Investment Programme, the scheme consists of apartments spread over three blocks consists of private, social and shared-ownership tenancies and aimed to make Passivhaus affordable.
Cameron Close, Isle of Wight
(Image: Southern Housing Group)
In September 2015 Southern Housing Group, one of the largest housing associations in the south east of England, delivered its first ever Passivhaus scheme on the Isle of Wight. Built on a 1.5 acre site, the £4.2m Cameron Close development comprises 16 semi-detached family houses and 12 sheltered apartments for the over 55s. The housing association chose Passivhaus because it met the Group’s sustainability objectives, which is focused on providing affordable warmth for residents and creating a low carbon housing association.
Designed for its Elephant Park regeneration scheme in Elephant & Castle, Lendlease has adopted Passivhaus for a terrace of 15 Victorian-style townhouses that are located opposite a conservation area. The buildings have been constructed with cross-laminated timber as a greener alternative to concrete or steel structural frames and Lendlease considers the scheme a milestone in its bid to be at the forefront of sustainable design.