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Racecourse Passivhaus Bungalows

Location: Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland
Completion Status: Occupancy: Occupied January 2012
Architect: Devereux/Gentoo Homes Consultant: Passivhaus consultant- Mark Siddall (formerly Devereux now LEAP); Passivhaus Services Engineer- Alan Clarke
Contractor: Gentoo Client: Gentoo
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The 28 Passivhaus bungalows were the first phase of a much larger regeneration project on the RacecourseEstate working with some of elderly customers to create a truly sustainable legacy. At the time this was a pioneering development for the UK in terms of design and scale delivering Passivhaus with a moretraditional UK design aesthetic as well as a new approach to customer education and engagement. A truly collaborative success story for the Gentoo Group and numerous regional and national organisations.

The Racecourse Estate bungalows on completion were the largest scale Passivhaus development in the UK with 28 new homes constructed and 25 achieving formal accreditation via the BRE.

Gentoo as commissioning client and contractor delivered this as part of a larger £25M pioneering development including an adjacent £5M Extra Care facility and over one hundred surrounding mixed tenure general needs housing to create a truly sustainable legacy in the North East. 

The homes were designed with a traditional UK aesthetic trying to make the extra-ordinary look ordinary and included chimneys as a means of housing the MVHR ductwork with fresh air in instead of smoke out.

The design and construction quality was so good the measured and predicted whole house heat loss figures represent the best performing results undertaken by Leeds University over the last decade.

Gentoo’s focus was on providing ground breaking homes for some of its elderly tenants whilst targeting fuel poverty and as such a bespoke customer engagement, education and support process was established from the outset and indeed is still ongoing to ensure the occupants were happy in their homes and also could get the maximum benefit and enjoyment from these bungalows. BUS data as well as our own ongoing relationships with our customers shows they feel happier and healthier in their new homes with exceptional BUS scores for customer satisfaction and comfort being achieved. Customer feedback includes lifestyle benefits such as improved health, no drafts and less cleaning required.

In terms of sustainability the homes all achieve Code Level 4 some with no renewable energy whatsoever and from a housing management perspective there is virtually no work involved as the customers are happy and contented. Sustainability in its truest sense.

UK Passivhaus Awards 2013- PROJECT FACTFILE

Shortlisted for UK Passivhaus Awards 2013- Social Housing

Further information