The Park Trust's Passive House
MOST AIRTIGHT HOME IN THE UK
A new house on the edge of Howe Park Wood in Tattenhoe, Milton Keynes has been built by the Parks Trust to replace a burnt out 1930’s farm house. This is however no ordinary house, although the occupants will live in it like an ordinary house they will have vastly reduced energy bills. The home is built to the European PassivHaus standard meaning it is comfortable throughout the year, with no cold spots or draughts. People who live in PassivHaus (there are thousands on the continent) say it just works, and why would you do anything less. The house works by utilising high levels of insulation, high performance triple glazed windows which optimise the solar gain from the sun in winter, and careful detailing.
There are virtually no draughts in this house and we believe is the most airtight building in the country, with an air change rate N50=0.065 h-1 @50pa, surpassed as far as we know only by a German building at 0.05. Ventilation is provided by a highly efficient Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery Unit (MVHR), keeping 90% of the heat in the house. This unit takes fresh air from outside, heats it from exhaust air from the kitchen and bathrooms and delivers it to the bedrooms and living spaces. This is tried and tested technology especially on the continent. There is also the option of opening the windows, though this will incur a small penalty on winter fuel bills.
Using standard National Home Energy Rating (NHER) figures it is calculated that the house will cost only £74 a year to heat (with expensive electricity), plus £70 for hot water, £96 for cooking and an estimated £725 for appliances. Photovoltaic solar panels on the roof are expected to generate £282 of electricity so this brings the estimated fuel cost to just £683 per year.
Other eco features in the home include a drying and washing room on the first floor, using the MVHR system to dry clothes, an A+++ fridge freezer, low flush toilets and solar hot water. The home has been decorated throughout with natural healthy paints, except for the feature wall on the staircase which uses recycled paint (made from left over half pots of paint and re formulated and blended to any colour of choice)
The house was designed by Architects Eco Design Consultants, who also provided the PassivHaus consultancy. The main contractor was Parkway Construction, the timber frame was supplied and erected by Touchwood Homes Ltd. and Jackson Coles provided the project Management and cost control.
More can be read about the passive house here .. http://www.ecodesignconsultants.co.uk/wordpress/portfolio/domestic/howe-park-passivhaus/
And on our blog http://www.ecodesignconsultants.co.uk/wordpress/blog-3/our-passivhaus/
Article Written by Alan Budden RIBA (Director of eco Design Consultants)