AHR has expertise in offering alternative solutions with regards to sustainability. Passivhaus represents an integrated design process that results low energy buildings that ensure very little energy is required for heating or cooling needs.
We have designed and completed two fully certified, residential Passivhaus schemes, Cameron Close within a surburban location for Southern Housing Group in the Isle of Wight, and The Pheasantry, within a rural location for Hastoe Housing in West Sussex.
You can learn more about the Passivhaus journey and design of these projects below.
Cameron Close in Freshwater, Isle of Wight is a Passivhaus development for Southern Housing Group in the Isle of Wight consisting of 28 affordable homes within a suburban location.
In order to achieve Passivhaus certification, each home needed to meet stringent and sustainable readings for heat dissipation and ventilation. Practically, this necessitated the installation of 500mm thick walls, triple glazed windows, whole house mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and low capacity condensing boilers to provide hot water and minimal top up space heating. In addition, using pre-certified fixtures and fittings ensured that minimal heating and primary energy limits were met.
Key challenges to overcome within the design and delivery of this project to Passivhaus standards was the desire to maintain semidetached houses with articulartion to create interest. We were able to avoid 'technical' looking houses by incorporating deep window reveals and sliding shutters within the design to provide shading, avoiding use of various external add-ons such as brise-soleils.
We were also able to ensure all of the houses have front and back gardens and the flats have generous, landscaped ‘kitchen gardens’ to ensure plenty of private amenity space.
The Pheasantry, Turners Hill in Crawley Down, Sussex is a Passivhaus development of 26 affordable homes on an rural exemption site in a traditional village environment for Hastoe Housing Association.
Following our masterplan, we worked very closely with the specialist Passivhaus assessor and timber frame manufacturer to develop a technical solution which supports brickwork as a wall finish, incorporates the extent of insulation and air tightness required.
The thermal insulation is up to 2.5 times more efficient and air-tightness is 5 times better than a house built to the Building Regulation standards at the time (completed 2015) whilst ventilation and air quality is excellent using MVHR systems. Energy use is 3 times less than average homes built to Building Regulation standards at the time (completed 2015). With the heating demand very low, only two radiators are required in each house to provide comfort. In addition, we were able to keep the roof clutter free, with no need to bolt-on any Photovoltaic panels.
Whilst delivering extremely high environmental performance within a recognisable house time, we were still able to deliver innovative houses that provided a contemporary interpretation of the architectural vernacular of West Sussex, each home no more than two storeys in height, with semi-private courtyard space and extended views beyond the fields.
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