Tenants are preparing to reap the benefits of living in Lincolnshire’s first highly energy-efficient Passivhaus council homes.
Built by Lindum BMS for North Kesteven District Council in Heckington, these 22 new affordable council houses include two properties designed to meet the rigorous ‘Passivhaus’ standard which incorporate enhanced insulation, heat retention and draught proofing to require minimal heating.
All of the houses are built to NK-standards which exceed national requirements, with the two ‘Passivhaus’ properties providing even greater benefits for the occupants - cheaper and easier to live in, warmer in winter, cooler in summer and super efficient.
Although around 15% more expensive to build, Passivhauses are significantly cheaper to run – generally requiring about 75% less heating than standard-build and contributing to reduced carbon outputs.
Great care is taken in the quality of materials, insulation levels, design and construction so that they are highly draught-proofed and require very little heating over and above the passive heat from the environment: sun, in-house appliances and occupants.
Their official opening by Cllr Stewart Ogden, local ward member and NKDC Executive Board Member with responsibility for housing, on Monday, January 16, comes less than a year after the turf was cut at the Kyme Road site to begin construction.
“Our Council is the first in the area – and one of just a handful nationwide – to build social housing to the rigorous Passivhaus standard and we are very proud to be taking the lead yet again,” said Cllr Ogden.
“This £2.4m scheme represents a further investment by the Council in increasing access to improved housing, and makes a significant contribution to meeting an identified need for affordable housing in Heckington.
“It fits with the Council’s commitment to build to its own adopted quality standard, Fabric First Plus, which exceeds the requirements of building regulations for insulation, space and durability and brings to 175 the number of additional council houses built by NKDC over the last seven years “
“We always seek to make our properties right for the District and right for our tenants, building for the future and responding to need.
“Including eight much-needed flats, all of these homes will be allocated to people with a local connection to North Kesteven and I wish everyone preparing to move in all the best with their new beginnings,” he said.
The development is named Welchman Way in honour of one of Heckington’s First World War heroes who died in France in October 1914. This is in keeping with a local tradition of taking names for new streets from the village war memorial.
It was built by Lindum which has experience of meeting both the Council’s exacting standards and building Passivhauses.
Lindum Group Chairman David Chambers said: “We are pleased to be part of the team helping to provide such quality affordable housing for individuals and families in our local community and to have used our experience, and skills, to construct these 22 new homes for NKDC.
“Of particular note are the two properties built to the high energy efficient ‘Passivhaus’ standard. Although a first in North Kesteven, Lindum has built homes achieving this accreditation elsewhere in the East Midlands and were glad to contribute this knowledge to the partnership responsible for delivering these new houses.”
Incidentally these two Passivhauses bring the total number of all Passivhauses in the UK to 100. They are unusual not only in being Council Houses but also having been built of brick and block as most Passivhauses are timber frame or subterranean.