PassivHaus is a German concept for ultra low energy buildings. Willmott Dixon’s £10m scheme, situated in Highgate and known as Chester Balmore, will use a combination of super insulation to reduce heat loss in walls, roof and floor, and high levels of air tightness. Residents are expected to have lower energy bills as a result.
The project is part of Camden’s Community Investment Programme and aims to ensure new-build social housing incorporates energy efficiency at design stage, a key element of PassivHaus certification. To achieve the PassivHaus standard, property at design stage must show high levels of insulation with minimal thermal bridges, good use of solar and internal heat gains, excellent air tightness and good indoor air quality provided by a whole house mechanical ventilation system with efficient heat recovery.
Chester Balmore will provide mixed-tenure homes and additional commercial space in three separate blocks, the first new council housing in Camden for almost 30 years.
Work is due for completion in 2013 and alongside achieving the PassivHaus standard, the commercial element will be BREEAM ‘very good’.
Willmott Dixon Capital Works CEO John Frankiewicz said: “As the need to create ever more energy efficient housing to mitigate against the rise in fuel prices becomes more critical, so will the use of systems like PassivHaus become more common as the standard to deliver affordable energy housing. Camden is making a very imaginative and exciting statement on delivering low carbon housing that others will be watching closely.”
Camden council worked with Rick Mather Architects to get the project through planning consent. Architype is providing detailed design for Willmott Dixon during the construction phase.