Passivhaus Affiliate

Bristol City Council strive for Passivhaus Plus with 25 new homes

Bristol City Council have appointed Gale & Snowden Architects as lead consultants on a scheme of 25 dwellings aiming for Passivhaus Plus certification.

Building elevation. Image credit: Gale & Snowden.

This new Passivhaus development is spread across 5 brownfield sites and are all designed to also meet Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 and Lifetime Homes standards. It is one of a number of new Passivhaus developments that Gale & Snowden are working on, such as the recently announced Rennes House social housing scheme of 26 one and two bedroom flats in Exeter.

Gale & Snowden Architects’ approach to sustainable construction is to rigorously employ Passivhaus design principles to ensure that, through a fabric first approach, the buildings use minimum amounts of energy and water; whilst being comfortable, easy to use and healthy for the occupants by meeting Building Biology best practice guidance.


Building elevation. Image credit: Gale & Snowden.

The project received planning in September 2015 and is due for tender in November 2015 with a scheduled start date of January 2016.

Key design principles:

Low running costs

Gale & Snowden's designs focus on a fabric first approach based on Passivhaus principles to first reduce the energy demand of a building and thus reducing its carbon emissions before adding renewables, resulting in affordable low carbon housing solutions which aims to defeat fuel poverty.

Integrated landscape

The landscape design focuses on key human needs of food, water, energy and shelter in a way that also enhances the natural environment by employing permaculture design principles. It integrates the new development with its surroundings and creates a sense of ownership and community with its residents.

Project plan. Image credit: Gale & Snowden.

Climate ready

Enabled by funding from the Technology Strategy Board, Gale & Snowden have been at the forefront of developing integrated design strategies that help to extend the useful life of a building by future proofing it against the effects from climate change without adding costs to a project.


  • Wall - Rendered masonry. U-value = 0.23 W/m2K.
  • Roof - Clay tiles, trussed timber construction, insulated at ceiling level. U-value = 0.07 W/m2K
  • Floor - Suspended beam and block. U-value = 0.10 W/m2K
  • Windows and doors - Timber framed, aluminium clad. U-value = 1.0 W/m2K. g-value = 0.5.


Key team

  • Project owner - Bristol City Council

  • Architect - Gale & Snowden Architects and Engineers

  • Consultants - Gale & Snowden Architects and Engineers

  • Contractor - TBC

  • Structural engineer - Sands Exeter

  • Developer - Bristol City Council

Further Information

Gale & Snowden Architects 

Previous news story, 10th September - Planning approval granted for Exeter social housing scheme of 26 homes

26th October 2015

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