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CASE STUDY 39


Jennifer explains further: “Buildings built to Passivhaus standards use up to 90 per cent less energy for heating and cooling, and up to 70 per cent less energy than conventional buildings, and have therefore been identified as a key strategy for tackling fuel poverty.” She adds: “They also future-proof occupants from increas- ing unexpected weather patterns.” To achieve the Passivhaus standard, the fabric of the new homes is highly insulated and airtight, to minimise home heat losses and reduce energy consump- tion. All windows have been designed to maximise capacity for natural ventilation, whilst ensuring safety and security are not compromised. Many of the homes have an open plan layout in the living areas, which allows for cross ventilation. One of the key features of the design is the units’ optimised solar orientation; the two-storey detached properties have been designed with entrance doors to the side of the property, allowing a standard plan form to be used regardless of whether the front is north- or south-facing. As such all of the homes within the development are oriented to maximise solar gains. The new homes have also been provided with MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery) systems to ensure that high levels of internal air quality are achieved throughout the year (particularly during winter when windows are typically closed). MVHR also reduces heat losses by extracting heat from stale air to preheat fresh air. Solar panels have been integrated onto south-facing roofs to provide domestic hot water to the properties, and air source heat pumps have been located to the rear of properties to provide heating in a sustainable way.


CONSTRUCTION


Hanover (Scotland) is working with experienced partners to achieve these high environmental goals, including Cruden Building, ECD Architects and TCS Construction Consultants. The project will take approximately 1 year to complete from site start to final handovers and surfacing, and initial aspects will focus on site clearance and


the diversion of any existing water main. The foundation solution planned is ‘trenchfill,’ with an in situ concrete ground floor slab, a highly insulated roof, wall and floor cassettes will form the timber frame, and the external walls will be a mixture of facing brick, render and cladding.


The total cost of this rebuild is expected to be £2.89m. This has partly been funded by a Housing Grant from the Scottish Government, worth £1.26m. The remaining costs are covered by a private loan from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), worth £1.63m.


AGAINST FUEL POVERTY


Considering the team’s approach to the new homes, Jennifer believes that by adopting the Passivhaus standard, the developers are ensuring that they are protecting residents from rising fuel costs. “In particular,” she says, it’s great to know that the amenity houses will be offered up to returning residents who previously lived at this address.” The residents will be returning to a brand-new house, designed specifically as amenity housing, and with very low energy bills yet excellent levels of thermal comfort. According to Julie, these aspects have led to a lot of positive feedback so far. The project team continues to work with the Drymen community, and says the reaction from its clients has been very positive. In order to maintain this relationship, a short newsletter is published internally to keep customers and the general public informed about the progress of the project.


“Customers who were decanted at the start of the demolition programme have already expressed their enthusiasm to return to the development at the earliest opportunity,” says Julie. Looking at the future of the


project, the project architect concludes: “We are optimistic about the success of the project, and we anticipate that Passivhaus will set the blueprint for future housebuilding in Scotland, so this an exciting opportunity for everyone involved.”


“THE NEW HOMES HAVE BEEN ARRANGED TO STEP IN AND OUT FROM THE STREET LINE, REFLECTING THE PLAN FORM OF THE FORMER PROPERTIES ON THE SITE” – JENNIFER ROONEY, PROJECT ARCHITECT


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