The first social Passivhaus development
'Tigh-NaCladach' (house by the shore), is the UK's first social housing Passivhaus development in Scotland. This affordable low-energy housing scheme effectively demonstrates how the Passivhaus standard can help meet the increasingly high levels of energy performance demanded of public housing. The high performance EWI system, StoTherm Classic, impact resistant to 50-60 joules - was specified for other Passivhaus developments in the UK. These include a domestic project nearing completion in the Cotswolds (the first completed house independently certified to the Passivhaus standard by the Scottish Passive House Centre) and the first commercial building constructed to Passivhaus standards, recently completed in Dover.
Existing buildings are also utilising the thermal insulation properties of EWI systems. With 20% of the UK's total carbon emissions coming from existing housing stock, the principles behind the Passivhaus standard are also applicable to homes in need of sustainable up-scaling.
One such retrofit/refurbishment project to embrace Passivhaus principles is the RlBA Award winning Zero Carbon house in Birmingham. The former two-bed, semi-detached Victorian house has been turned into a spectacular four-bed sustainable property. In order to achieve its zero-carbon status, Passivhaus principles were employed, incorporating StoTherm Classic to ensure excellent air tightness and thermal efficiency. The EWI system enabled the building to achieve an exceptional U-Value rating of <0.11 W/m2K within the building envelope.
As the changes in regulations continue to evolve, social landlords are continually required to ensure that social housing in the UK is up to standard. Passivhaus offers a proven and uncomplicated method to achieve energy-efficient sustainable buildings, and could very well provide the necessary specification to meet the increasingly high thermal efficiency demands of social housing.