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Wimbish housing project wins at UK Passivhaus Awards

16. July 2012

Pioneering social housing scheme featuring Austrian triple glazing voted best residential project at inaugural Passivhaus Awards while Austrian sunshading system used in winning refurb project.

Wimbish Housing is the first rural Passivhaus development of its kind in the UK. The mix of 14 dwellings responded to an identified need in the village for social housing, and Hastoe Housing Association appointed Parsons + Whittley Architects to design Passivhaus dwellings both to conform to the Parish Council’s wishes to provide sustainable housing and to reflect Hastoe’s policy of providing housing with low running costs in order to reduce their tenants’ fuel poverty. Parsons + Whittley chose a thin-joint masonry construction, hard rendered internally to improve thermal mass, insulated externally to minimise thermal bridging. The scheme features triple glazed windows from Austrian supplier Internorm. Tenants’ satisfaction with these dwellings has been assessed against a national index to deliver the highest score yet achieved.

In the meantime the winner of the best Passivhaus retrofit was Bere Architect’s Mayville Community Centre. Completed in December 2011 this was the first Passivhaus certified non-domestic retrofit in the UK. Built circa 1890, the centre provides a focal point for the local residents as a valuable community resource. The refurbishment focuses on providing more usable space of a much higher quality than previously while the original building fabric is improved in order to reduce the building’s energy consumption. The finished building is predicted to consume 90%-94% less energy than before the refurbishment. As one of its many energy efficient measures the building uses external solar shading, supplied by Austrian company Hella, to control unwanted summer heat gains.

In the other category Architype’s Oakmeadow Primary School was voted best non-domestic project. Full project descriptions of all the winning entries can be viewed on the UK Passivhaus Trust website.

Other shortlisted projects included Eurobuild’s Hadlow College, the first Passivhaus certified educational building in the UK, and Bere Architect’s Camden House, both featuring prefabricated timber systems from Austria suppliers Weissenseer and Kaufmann Zimmerei und Tischlerei respectively.

Links for more information:

Parsons + Whittley
Hella Sonnen- und Wetterschutztechnik GmbH
Bere Architects
Kaufmann Zimmerei
UK Passivhaus Trust
Wimbish project description
Mayville Community Centre project description
Oakmeadow Primary School project description