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Totnes Passivhaus

Location: Totnes, Devon, UK
Completion Status: Completed 19-Aug-2011, certified Sept 2011 Occupancy: Occupied
Architect: Janet Cotterell Consultant: Adam Dadeby
Contractor: Jonathan Williams Client: Adam Dadeby and Erica Aslett
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WINNER: UK Passivhaus Awards 2013 - Private Housing Category

The Totnes Passivhaus was the third UK retrofit to be Passivhaus Certified (in Sept 2011). The project was challenging, including both masonry retrofit and new-build timber-frame elements (which includes a new living roof). The existing house formed part of a distinctive, modernist housing estate built in the 1970s and the Passivhaus performance requirements therefore had to be addressed within very particular design constraints to retain the valued ‘group’ aesthetic. The project achieved an air tightness test result at Certification of 0.2 a.c.h. (exceptional for a retrofit) and the total Primary measured energy in use is 75.8kWh/m².a during the first year of occupation, note that this covers running a home office and frequent extra B&B guests! The project also includes a photovoltaic array and a solar hot water system. The construction solutions made use of natural materials (e.g. sheep’s wool, cellulose, timber frame) and high performance materials (e.g. An External Wall Insulation System using 180mm phenolic insulation).

The project has proved a valuable learning resource, both for the team that created it and for visiting students and B&B guests. Common concerns about MHVR and air quality and about prohibitions on opening windows are dispelled when guests experience a Passivhaus for themselves and have an opportunity to quiz owners,Adam Dadeby & Erica Aslett, about living in a Passivhaus. The Totnes Passivhaus also offers an opportunity to experience staying in a Passivhaus first-hand. The project further highlighted the need for a practical and accessible book on the subject – now realised in The Passivhaus Handbook. Together, they have proved very effective in helping to promote Passivhaus in the UK.

As a B&B guest notes “Fantastic night in a Passivhaus. We hope this is the beginning of a Passivhaus adventure for us!” 

Steve and Linda G., Bucks, November 2011

Further information can be found here.

UK Passivhaus Awards 2013- PROJECT FACTFILE

UK Passivhaus Awards 2013- PROJECT PRESENTATION

Shortlisted for UK Passivhaus Awards 2013- Private Housing

OSB with circular cut for warmcel and tescon taped Intello join
OSB with circular cut for warmcel and tescon taped Intello join