Our Welsh Passivhaus social housing prototype today achieved what is probably the best result so far for a UK pressurised air test for an above-ground, detached house. As predicted, the second airtest which was carried out today on our 3 bed social housing passivhaus prototype (after completion of M&E installation including services penetrations) achieved an even better result than the first test.


My globe trotting friend Marten Simms has sent me news from Vancouver of one of his current projects; I strongly recommend the link below:

I co-run Wake, a non-profit marine conservation initiative based here in Vancouver, Canada. We focus on saving sharks and tuna. Yes, tuna. To find out more about why we are doing this please take a moment this weekend to find out how you can help reduce the number of sharks dying worldwide (currently about 192 every minute). So, if you love the other 71% of this planet and care about every second breath you take, check it:


On Monday the timber frame contractors of our Welsh Passivhaus prototype social housing managed a fantastic first air test result of 0.29 air changes per hour under 50 pascals air pressure! This is one of the best air test results carried out by a UK contractor so far; more than twice as good as the minimum standard required for a Passivhaus, 34 times better than UK Building Regulations, and right up there with the best current German construction standards.


Fund raising is now complete. The tenders came in on budget. One of the UK’s first certified Passivhaus retrofits starts on site on May 17th. The building is predicted to make 94% energy savings compared to the existing building, while at the same time greatly increasing the usable floor space of the building. When the centre re-opens it will be re-orientated southwards to a new community garden.


The Camden passivhaus home is about knowledge transfer from Austria and Germany and the Welsh Passivhaus project is about trying to apply this knowledge to social housing prototypes. We are also working on a terraced Welsh Passivhaus home to save more money and energy than detached houses.


These are the first prototypes for passivhaus homes at Ebbw Vale in Wales, to be on show at the Eisteddfod in July this year. 700 homes are planned for the site over the next few years. Wales is going zero carbon on all new homes from next year (2011) and it is possible that they will define zero carbon as based on the Passivhaus standard of energy efficiency. This is a definition of zero carbon that is 3 times more ambitious in terms of specific heat requirements than the English definition of zero carbon to be applied to new homes in England in 5 years time.


What was planned as a small Camden and Islington Passivhaus conference on February 3rd for local architects and council employees, quickly became an over-subscribed event and a major UK Passivhaus conference. Refer to the following link for more details:


Camden Passivhaus, Camden, London

(due to be completed March 2010)

The primary objective of this project is to achieve a comfortable home for a young family, whilst minimising energy consumption. This house has been designed to use less than 13kWh/m2/a for heating (a typical new home in the UK is likely to consume nearer 100kWh/m2/a)

The project is a 120m2 single family house split over two floors, with two wild flower meadow roofs and a south facing garden.


Wednesday, February 3rd 2010 (Camden Town Hall, Judd Street)


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