Massive Win for Passivhaus Demo

9 February 2012

Hastoe, bere:architects and The Prince’s Foundation have collaborated to develop a low cost, traditional semi-detached Passivhaus, which was announced as the winning pair of demonstration houses for the BRE’s Innovation Park at Watford last week.

The Chestnut House is an ultra-low energy, carefully proportioned Passivhaus inspired by traditional house design. It is extremely economical to build and provides an exemplary solution to an increasing demand by social housing providers and individual homeowners for low energy, cost efficient, easily-maintained and robust houses. The Chestnut House will be welcomed by planners and local communities who want housing that fits comfortably within existing townscapes and rural settings. This is housing that, possibly for the first time, recognises what people want today while at the same time delivering now what people will increasingly need tomorrow.

Recently announced 2013 building regulation proposals confirm the Government’s commitment for new and existing buildings to reach the ultimate goal of Zero Carbon Homes to cut the UK’s carbon emissions. Communities Minister Andrew Stunell stated that; “A quarter of the carbon emissions produced each year come from our homes, so it is vital we get to grips with energy efficiency to tackle this problem. Making our homes more sustainable will also keep people warm, drive down bills and support jobs in the construction industry.”

Justin Bere firmly believes that Passivhaus technology is the best way to achieve these goals and due to his practice’s research The Chestnut House is poised to deliver a range of mass market ultra low energy housing units as detached, semis or terraces.

Hastoe Chief Executive, Sue Chalkley, comments:

“To have won the BRE Passivhaus competition is a great accolade and we are very pleased to have achieved this in the first phase of the project. We developed the first rural affordable homes in the UK and our Passivhaus scheme in Essex, which recently achieved certification, is now the largest of its kind in England. We also currently have Ditchingham on site and a further 139 schemes in our programme.

“We are committed to developing homes to this high standard which provide a very real solution to the serious and growing problem of rural fuel poverty, whilst also protecting the climate. We look forward to continuing our partnership with bere:architects and The Prince’s Foundation during the next phase of the project, the implementation. Winning this competition proves that Passivhaus good design and affordability can go hand in hand.”

The Chestnut House builds on the vast quantity of research that bere:architects are undertaking as part of the Technology Strategy Board, Building Performance funding programme. “We are absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity of building on previous work and creating something truly outstanding at Watford that will act as a realistic signpost for the future,” said Justin Bere of bere:architects.

The finalists’ submissions were judged by an appointed panel of UK and International Passivhaus design experts. The Chestnut House will be built in BRE’s Innovation Park at Watford and offers a solution for beautiful, cost effective, low energy homes which can be built as large scale developments.

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