Affordable social housing built to Passivhaus standard
Available as affordable housing, these 11 homes are between 81m2 and 93m2 in size and consist of 2 x two-bedroom homes and 9 x three-bedroom homes. The homes are energy efficient, comfortable and sustainable because they have been built to the rigorous quality and performance parameters of the Passivhaus standard.
Interview with David Scrimgeour, Cherwell District Council
We spoke with David Scrimgeour from Cherwell District Council about his experience of building homes to the Passivhaus standard with Beattie Passive.
What led you to selecting Passivhaus as a construction method?
At inception, the Build Team at Cherwell District Council wanted to review a range of different procurement routes and construction methods. Building low cost in-use homes that are sustainable to the environment, as well as high quality are objectives of the Build Team. Passivhaus was considered to be a building standard which helps to meet those objectives.
How and why did you choose the Beattie Passive system?
At the time, around 2014, Passivhaus was not widely known in the UK. We became aware of Beattie Passive from our research into companies that had invested in and were actively delivering Passivhaus homes.
When considering your options, how did the Beattie Passive system compare to other build systems/traditional methods?
We were encouraged by the factory fabrication panelised process, which we considered would provide a more efficient process capable of delivering high quality components when compared with traditional construction. The potential to reduce time on-site by using factory fabrication was also considered an advantage. Our research established that Passivhaus homes performed significantly better compared to Building Regulations in terms of airtightness, which was an appeal, and although the capital investment was higher, we were optimistic that this would be offset by reduced costs in use.
Thinking about the build process on site, was it how you envisaged?
At Hope Close, Beattie Passive was responsible for design, supply and construction of the Structural Thermal Envelope, and this element of the project progressed well. The factory fabricated panels were delivered in line with the programme and there were no issues with assembly on site. Abortive works were avoided, which may have been an increased risk in other methods of construction.
How was the collaboration between the different contractors on site?
Beattie Passive was a sub-contractor at Hope Close and our main point of contact under the development contract was the main contractor. There was good collaboration between Beattie Passive and the main contractor on site. Passivhaus was a new concept to the main contractor and they worked well together. Beattie Passive’s knowledge made sure that the Structural Thermal Envelope was delivered without any problems. We have a long-established relationship with Beattie Passive, which continues beyond construction completion, and were happy with the team set up and support provided.