Passivhaus Affiliate

Sustainability Centre EnerPHit wins planning

Over the last 21 years The Sustainability Centre has used their 1970s building to deliver community education and support but now, to support them increase outreach and deliver their ‘Ready…Steady…Grow’ initiative, the centre has chosen PHT Patrons Architype to retrofit the building to the EnerPHit standard and planning has just been won.

The Sustainability Centre

Staying true to their sustainability ethos, the centre chose not to demolish the existing building, which is set within the South Downs National Park, but instead to work with and update the existing building structure. The current build is very typical of its era but with the updates it will become more spacious, with increased natural daylight.

The Sustainability Centre - South View current building The Sustainability Centre - South View new plan
Current Building
New Building Plan

The new design aims to reflect the National Park setting and will see the current 1970s building augmented with new timber structural elements and cladding. The update will make use of the South Downs natural resources by including a Lawson Cypress natural pole sourced directly from the site and Cedar cladding from within a mile of the Centre’s boundary.

Key Stats

Standard: EnerPHit

Treated Floor Area (TFA): 766m2

Year of completion: TBC

Renewables: MVHR

Construction Type: timber frame and cladding

The Sustainability Centre - drawing plan

The EnerPHit standard will be achieved by updating the existing building's fabric, by increasing the level of airtightness, by updating the window components and by installing an MVHR system throughout. The building’s energy demand will be dramatically reduced as it harnesses internal heat gains and solar gains to maintain a comfortable internal temperature.

The Sustainability Centre - West Arrival current building The Sustainability Centre - West Arrival new plan
Current Building
New Building Plan

Energy Performance

The Sustainability Centre

Airtightness (≤1.0ACH@50pascals)  


Thermal Energy Demand (≤25kWh/m².yr)


Thermal Energy Load (≤10W/m²)


Primary Energy Demand (≤120kWh/m².yr)


Infiltration is also dramatically reduced and the end result will see an 80% improvement in carbon and over a 95% reduction in total delivered energy to the building, compared with the existing building’s previous performance. The lower energy bills and running costs going forward will enable the charity to invest more funds towards their sustainability and community focussed mission.

The Sustainability Centre - site plan

This will be one of the first commercial Passivhaus EnerPHit projects in the UK and we look forward to more projects following suit!


Key Team

Client: The Earthworks Trust

Architects: Architype

Landscape and Planning Consultants: Staton Cohen, TerraFirma

Structural Engineers: Price & Myers

Environmental Engineers: SGA

Quantity surveyor: Gordon Hutchinson


Further Information


The Sustainability Centre


All images unless otherwise stated ©Architype



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27th April 2019

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