PassivHaus home is too good to pass up

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THE ultimate example of an energy efficient, highly comfortable low carbon home is coming to Milton Keynes.

Planning permission has just been granted for what is expected to be the very first certified PassivHaus in the new city.

Designed by Bletchley Park based Eco Design Consultants Ltd – a small group of architects specialising in low energy housing – the house is designed with careful attention to detail to meet some exacting eco standards.

PassivHaus buildings provide a high level of comfort while using very little energy for heating and cooling – ideal for modern living which encourages homeowners to develop an environmental conscience.

The homes are built with meticulous attention to detail and rigorous design and construction according to principles developed by the PassivHaus Institute in Germany.

The Milton Keynes property will have high levels of insulation, exceptional air tightness to ensure minimal heat loss through drafts and optimisation of windows and construction to maximise solar gain, while simultaneously minimising heat loss.

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Ventilation will be provided in the winter using mechanical ventilation and heat recovery to ensure fresh air to the house, without losing the heat gained.

The small amount of heat remaining – estimated to be below £75 per annum – will be offset by electricity produced from Photovoltaic panels on the roof which will take advantage of the feed in tariff to make the house zero carbon and zero fuel bills.

The Parks Trust, which is building the four bedroom house, is planning to make the PassivHaus available for rent once it is completed.

Chief executive David Foster said: “We’re proud to be developing the first PassivHaus in MK.

“We believe it will not only be a good commercial decision for the Trust but also a good thing to do for Milton Keynes and for the wider environment.

“Milton Keynes has in the past led the way on many environmental initiatives, not least the establishment of The Parks Trust. We play a big part in making the city a green and pleasant place to live and this is also a great opportunity to place Milton Keynes back at the forefront of low carbon living.”

The PassivHaus has a variety of other features to cement its environmentally friendly credentials including a drying room that is linked to the ventilation system.

This provides the most economical and green way to dry your clothes (second only to drying them on an outside line but obviously superior to using a tumble dryer during the winter).

High quality water saving devices and low energy appliances will be used throughout and it will be constructed from sustainable timber.

Alan Budden, from Eco Design Consultants Ltd, said: “We were delighted to have such a forward thinking client who has the faith that building a private rental house to PassivHaus standards will not only provide a fantastic comfortable low energy home but also provide a great return on the investment.”