A city council in Yorkshire is so proud of its under-construction Passivhaus development that it’s inviting the public to take a behind-the-scenes look at how these zero-carbon homes are being built.
City of York Council is hosting an open day next month for a tour of its very first Passivhaus development, situated on Duncombe Square in Clifton. It’s part of a national event intended to showcase this form of fabric-first construction.
Passivhaus is a standard with a goal of creating energy-efficient buildings with a low carbon footprint. In order to achieve that, Passivhaus homes use a variety of features that are designed to reduce their need for heating and cooling rooms.
The blueprint was originally developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Darmstadt, Germany.
Councillor Kate Ravilious, the council’s executive member for environment and climate emergency,said: “For 20 years, Passivhaus buildings have been helping cut carbon emissions across the world. Those who have built them have welcomed people interested in learning more about these zero-carbon homes.“
This site visit will show the materials, construction methods, ventilation and heating systems used to create these much-needed homes. Self-builders and interested residents are all welcome to this opportunity.”
Located off Burton Stone Lane in Clifton, these 34 homes have been designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects Mikhail Riches. They are being built around a central green open space, while shared ‘ginnels’ (a Yorkshire dialect term for a small alleyway) at the rear of the terraces create a safe space for children to play and grow up together.
Duncombe Square and Burnholme Green are part of the council’s Housing Delivery Programme, which aims to create 600 “affordable” and sustainable homes in the city. They are the programme’s first two Passivhaus housing sites, and are predicted to deliver a 70% reduction in energy use and bills.
Both Duncombe Square and Burnholme Green’s homes will be 60% affordable, the council says. The current requirement for new housing developments is for them to be 20% affordable. The remaining 40% will be for sale on the open market and marketed under the Shape Homes York brand.
City of York Council in collaboration with Shape Homes York, has already welcomed over 40 construction professionals on these sites to learn about Passivhaus design and construction in practice.
Councillor Michael Pavlovic, executive member for housing, planning and safer communities, said: “These 34 homes tackle housing shortages and fuel poverty in York. The majority will be affordable – for social rent and for shared ownership – and being Passivhaus, these houses and apartments will be high quality and low cost to run.”
Chayley Collis, from the UK’s Passivhaus Trust, said: “The visits to Duncombe Square will be a great way to share the project team’s technical knowledge of building to the Passivhaus standard, and show other councils, building professionals, and social housing providers what is possible for large-scale housing developments.”
The event takes place on 10 November, and will include a presentation as well as a site tour. Spaces are free but limited, the council advises.
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