Passive House Plus, Kent

Comfortable, resilient, certified ‘Passive House Plus’ home nearing completion in June 2022. Designed so that its occupants will have no energy bills.

A comfortable, healthy, resilient family home designed to run on 100% renewable energy with no operational energy costs. It meets the ecological imperatives of our time; with a UK-manufactured frame made from Swedish engineered timber beams filled with cellulose insulation; free from toxic chemicals. Fire safety is even stronger than statutory requirements, with dense, fire-proof wall linings and a sprinkler system throughout – as in all our houses.

The house contains the same operating system as Brambles, except that it runs on three-phase power, with a three-phase battery. This enhances the potential to export energy to the national grid and enhances utilisation of on-site renewable energy. The house is ready for a future speed-of-export tariff that will provide higher prices for energy exported at high speed on all three phases simultaneously. The tiny energy demand (for all uses including heating), combined with battery storage also provides resilience in the event of a national grid power outage. 

The house is carved into its site to meet a planning requirement to minimise its visual impact in the landscape. The cost of this requirement is greatly reduced, compared to Lark Rise, because the retaining wall is a garden wall rather than integrated into the construction.

The house uses external venetian blinds to control solar gains and also has the ability to provide some active cooling through the ventilation system, powered entirely by solar energy. An 18 cubic metre underground rainwater storage tank adds further to the resilience of the house.

A reversible electric heat pump is used mainly to heat water for bathing and kitchen use. The 100% fresh air ventilation system is integral to the heat pump, discretely and efficiently delivering any supplementary heating or cooling that might be required through the fresh air, while constantly cleansing the indoor air of viruses and any other contaminants. Space heating and cooling use so little energy that they are only a secondary requirement.

This house demonstrates how we can build today to meet the ecological imperatives of our time. It will protect against a changing climate and will last several times longer than a power station. As such it will be a gift to future generations, not a liability.

Read more