Date Published: 21 June 2022
Eight Council homes built to the internationally-recognised Passivhaus standard are helping drive forward a new era of low carbon and energy-saving housing.
The eight Council homes in Windmill Gardens, off Moor Lane in Potterhanworth, have been delivered by North Kesteven District Council and are now complete and ready for occupants.
The Passivhaus mark means the properties are of the highest energy-efficient standard available in Europe. They’re also built to the authority’s own new CO2 -sy standard for carbon and energy efficiency.
Work to build the homes started last March, with Lindum Group carrying out construction while working closely with North Kesteven District Council and experts on the international Passivhaus standard.
Although more expensive to build, with £1.6 million of North Kesteven District Council investment going into the development, the houses are significantly cheaper to run for the occupants.
They generally require about 75 per cent less heating than standard builds. This is because the homes achieve an extremely low level of air loss, which in turn ensures heat is retained inside. The only requirement for conventional heating is a heated towel rail.
The homes also have solar panels, with electricity from them helping cut energy costs and the excess electricity produced by each home used to heat its water.
A group of representatives from North Kesteven District Council, Lindum Group and guests gathered at Windmill Gardens on Thursday June 16 to plant a tree and install an accompanying plaque commemorating the completion of the site.
Council Leader Councillor Richard Wright said: “By building to the internationally-recognised Passivhaus standard these homes will not only benefit their occupants by saving energy and money on fuel bills, but will also cut carbon in comparison to the energy footprint of normal builds.
“We’d like to also use these eight new homes as an opportunity to share our experiences and the benefits for people of building in this way, to hopefully encourage new Passivhaus and other low carbon homes elsewhere.
“Planting a tree to mark the completion of these homes is a fitting commemoration too, because as it grows a new community will also put down their own roots in these fantastic properties.
“We are committed to delivering high-quality homes across our District and by building to our new CO2 -sy standard in developments to come we will help future-proof housing for people’s needs and act on climate by doing so.”
Checks were made throughout the build by the Council’s teams, Lindum Group and Passivhaus experts to ensure the homes met the Passivhaus standard. The homes are only marked with the accreditation after thorough final checks.
Achieving this required incredible attention to detail throughout every stage of the build onsite – from the specific tapes layered in order to ensure window frames are properly sealed to ensuring internal studwork remained airtight around screw heads and nails.
In fact, air flow tests as part of these final checks found these eight new homes are within the top 1% results for air tightness for Passivhomes in the UK.
Lindum Group Managing Director Ed Chambers said: “It was fantastic to be here to plant a tree and celebrate completion of these Passivhaus homes. Our construction team has done a brilliant job, which has been proven by the fact the houses have achieved an air tightness score which is among the top one per cent in the country.
“We are, like North Kesteven District Council, committed to environmentally friendly building and driving to build a sustainable local economy. On this project, 93 per cent of the budget was spent with subcontractors based less than 40 miles from site. 79 per cent was with businesses based less than ten miles from site. This means the Council’s investment continues to circulate within the local economy.
“Lindum works alongside clients to deliver houses which meet their requirements and sustainability specifications, while also providing comfortable homes for people in the local community. These homes are an example of what can be achieved through teamwork, hard work and innovative thinking.”
As well as having enhanced insulation and draught proofing, which ensure the energy demands and fuel bills are as low as possible, Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery Systems were also installed in each home.
The eight homes join two previous Passivhaus homes built by North Kesteven District Council in the District.
Lindum also has prior experience of building to Passivhaus standards, having previously worked with the Council and other authorities to deliver similar schemes across the East Midlands.
Lindum’s BMS division built the region’s first domestic new build properties to achieve the Passivhaus certification in 2013 for EMH group at Hart Lea in Derbyshire.