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CASE STUDY 17 CASE STUDY Low energy, high pressure


Achieving the first affordable Passivhaus scheme in the characterful region of Stratford- upon-Avon was not without its challenges, as James Parker reports.


IT BECAME APPARENT THAT THE STANDARDS COULD BE MORE EASILY ACHIEVED USING A SUPER-INSULATED TRADITIONAL MASONRY APPROACH


assivhaus is seen as the gold standard of energy efficiency in housing, with an increasing number of schemes popping up across the country. However, the reality of meeting carbon reduction goals affordably for tenants, owners and housing authorities via Passivhaus may be harder than it may first appear, if a new project in Warwickshire is anything to go by. Warwickshire Rural Housing Association (WRHA) has a mission to provide affordable rural housing in the area for people who would not otherwise be able to afford to live in the communities they grew up in. Together with Waterloo Housing Group and Bouygues, it is building 14 homes on a site in the village of Wootton Wawen; picturesque, yet bisected by the busy A3400. It’s not only the first affordable Passivhaus scheme in this traditional and rural village five miles from Stratford-upon- Avon, but is also thought to be the first Passivhaus project of any kind in Warwickshire. As such, several bodies were instrumental in getting this pioneering project off the ground.


P Neil Gilliver is development officer at


WRHA, which is spearheading the scheme. He says there was “a lot of momentum for the project from different agencies.” The local parish council as well as Stratford- upon-Avon District Council were “very keen to see a groundbreaking development” which would help tenants access affordable housing that would also offer them low fuel bills, he says. WRHA also worked closely with Warwickshire Rural Community Council, who play a key role in delivering rural housing. In addition, Waterloo Housing, acting as agent, was “keen to be involved.”


Seven houses and seven bungalows are


under construction on a site close to the main road, and the development is due to be completed in April 2018. They are all intended for affordable rent (80 per cent of market rent), apart from two houses which will be sold as shared ownership. All homes are being part-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, although according to Gilliver, they did not stipulate that would be such an energy-efficiency exemplar project. As well as the district council putting in some funding, WRHA is paying around £1m towards the scheme including highways improvements, which is


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