Southern Housing Group, one of the largest housing associations in the south east of England, has delivered its first ever scheme, Cameron Close, built to the PassivHaus standards, an environmentally friendly approach to building design and development in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight.
Built on a 1.5 acre site, this £4.2 million development of 16 semi-detached family houses and 12 sheltered apartments has been developed according to the PassivHaus principle of reducing the need for and costs of space heating and cooling while keeping homes well insulated.
This ‘fabric first’ approach requires a high level of attention to detail to be given to both design and construction to deliver high-quality and sustainable homes for residents.
All of the homes on Cameron Close have been built with 500mm thick external walls, have triple glazed windows, a ventilation system with heat recovery, and low capacity condensing boilers to provide hot water and minimal top-up space heating.
The family houses feature front and back gardens and the apartments have landscaped kitchen gardens and the entire site has been designed to encourage a cohesive community.
Alan Townshend, Development Director at Southern Housing Group, said:
“We decided to make Cameron Close a PassivHaus development as it best meets the Group’s sustainability objectives without the need to provide expensive renewable technology.
“Given the current focus on sustainable housing on the Isle of Wight, we decided to take the opportunity to redevelop one of the Group’s existing sheltered housing schemes. We moved our current residents to a new modern sheltered housing scheme, Whitmore Court, that best met their needs and used the existing site to create those environmentally friendly family homes.
“The Isle of Wight Council supported our approach and provided us with some supplementary funding to help us achieve the PassivHaus standards.
“As part of our aim to provide sustainable tenures, the Group is always looking at how we can improve the quality of the homes we provide, so not only does this ‘fabric first’ approach provide an environmentally friendly solution for building these homes, it will also give the residents of Cameron Close significant and long-term savings on their energy bills.
“Our initial estimation is that the entire scheme could save up to £25,000 a year in energy costs, with some residents being able to save up to £900 in a three bedroom home.”
The PassivHaus Institute has already pre-certified all fixtures and fittings to ensure that the required heating and primary energy limits are met; the homes are currently going through the PassivHaus certification process.
The Group will carry out post-occupancy monitoring to find out how much energy residents are using and explore how this ‘fabric first’ approach can be replicated in future schemes.
Cameron Close was designed by PCKO Architects and built by Stoneham Construction.