First Timber Frame Passivhaus In Britain Now Completed!

Those of you planning on coming up with your own grand design for your dream house will surely have already looked into the concept of Passivhaus design, where buildings are constructed to provide high levels of comfort but using very little energy for heating and cooling in order to achieve this.

And now the very first timber frame Passivhaus has finally been built on British soil, found along the stunning Yorkshire coast in a little place outside Hunmanby near Filey.

According to the Yorkshire Post, the property is owned by Yvonne Garnett and her husband Phil, who at the time of the build had no idea that their new home would be the first oak frame Passivhaus to be constructed in the UK.

It took 30 lorry loads to remove the rubble from the destruction of an old bungalow that previously occupied the site, while a geological survey had to be carried out before the foundations could be created, with a raft system of insulated interlocking slabs put down with reinforced concrete in order to hold the weight of the framing and block walls.

It only took a week for the frame to go up, although the roof – which came complete with a complicated design of pitches and valleys – took nearly two months to finish.

Discussing his Passivhaus home, Phil said: “When it came to the day of the final tests to secure the coveted Passivhaus status everyone on site held their breath. A window was removed and replaced with a sealed fan to measure the negative pressure in the building. Any leaks of air are detected with a feather.

“We were expecting to pass the test and couldn’t believe it when the figures were way off the mark. Then we realised that someone had left a window open.”

Passivhaus buildings apparently achieve a 75 per cent reduction in space heating requirements, when compared to standard practice for new builds in the UK. The standard gives the industry a very good way of achieving the 80 per cent carbon reductions that have been set by our government as a legislative target.

Even if you’re not building your own home from scratch, the good news is that you can apply these methods after the house has been constructed, so you can see similar savings in space heating requirements.

Achieving the standard generally involves very high levels of insulation, accurate design modelling using the Passive House Planning Package, extremely high-performance windows with insulated frames, airtight building fabric, mechanical ventilation systems with highly efficient heat recovery and thermal bridge-free construction.

If you’re keen for your home to be as eco-friendly as possible, not just to benefit your own back pocket but to help the environment as well, then a Passivhaus approach might be just the answer you’ve been looking for.

Thinking of building your own timber frame home? Get in touch with us today to find out more.