Sampson Close, Coventry is the first social housing development in the West Midlands to follow the Passivhaus certification route which is focussed on reducing the need for space heating and cooling,. The project is also,to date, the UK’s largest Passivhaus development, comprising 23 affordable new energy efficient homes built with a total funding of £3,000,000 – jointly provided by Orbit Homes and the Homes & Communities Agency.
The Orbit Homes project was designed to exceed the Code of Sustainable Homes Level 3 mandatory energy performance standards and reduced carbon emissions. The method of construction utilised in results in an energy-saving of up to 90% when compared to traditional housing construction. This, in turn, means it costs Sampson Close tenants as little as £2 per week to heat a two-bedroom flat based on current tariffs.
Each home in Sampson Close is ‘wrapped’ in thick insulation – made with high recycled content --which gives performance U values less than 0.15W/m²K to walls, floors and roofs. Other energy efficient technology found within the development includes solar heating for water derived from over 40m² of solar collectors, solar electricity generation, triple glazed windows and a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system.
Another key factor in achieving the Passivhaus standard is that actual delivery of heat into the homes is through Jaga Strada and Strada DBE radiators which also play a significant role in lowering the energy-consumption of the development. Each slim, elegant looking Strada radiator incorporates a LowH20 heat exchanger which runs on approximately a tenth of the water content of that required by a standard steel panel radiator. This means faster response, better comfort and contributes markedly to the low fuel bills now enjoyed by the residents of the Orbit homes.
In the Strada DBE radiators, the DBE fan unit is attached to the LowH20 heat exchanger and draws air over the element – further increasing the efficiency of the radiator. This results in radiators that provide powerful output at the lower flow temperatures produced by the solar power heat source without resorting to the undesirable practice of over-sizing of the radiators. The integral DBE fans also improve circulation of the air around each room thereby eliminating condensation and damp issues.
At Sampson Close, the Strada DBE radiators are pre-set for the optimum indoor comfort levels but the Boost option still allows residents the option to quickly increase output according to resident preferences and changing ambient conditions.