Experts in energy-efficient housing, Hanse Haus, came up with the ultimate low-energy Passive house in Germany last year.  Now, the first of it’s kind is being built in the UK (West Quantoxhead, Somerset). 

What is the Passive House?

The Passive House is first and foremost a house which achieves outstanding thermal insulation and an extremely low space heating requirement of only 15 kWh per square metre of floor area per annum, to produce exceptionally low running costs. 

With detailed technical construction, particular attention is paid to the building envelope – the shell – to make sure it’s completely airtight, ensuring that no heat can leak out through joints or gaps.

Large, south-facing windows mean that natural solar radiation is used efficiently to heat the Passive house.  But inside the house itself, heat is also produced by the occupants, from electrical appliances, cooking and lighting and utilised through a central ventilation system with heat recovery constantly changing the air in the living areas and recycling warmth contained in the exhaust air via a heat exchanger into the incoming fresh air.

“Where conventional heating methods are no longer required, the Passive House gives freedom from rising energy prices ”, explains Giles Hirst, Hanse Haus’s main sales agent for England and Wales. 

On the few very cold days in winter when there’s no sunshine, heating would be provided by a micro heat pump.  In addition, high performance solar collectors on the roof would heat domestic hot water.

“Not only does the Passive house make long-term economic sense but due to reduced CO2 emissions, it offers pro-active care for the environment”, adds Giles.

The whole construction process of the Passive house and the individual structural elements, such as the walls, windows and roof are verified by the Passiv-haus-Institut in Darmstadt, Germany.  This passive house certification provides official confirmation that the building is built to the correct specification.

By kind permission from Mr and Mrs Stent, Hanse Haus are pleased to offer a site open day for the public to come and view the 249.5m2 passive house on Sunday 11th July.  Self builders are invited to come along for further information about the Passive house and to bring along and discuss their own plans.

Hanse Haus are also holding their annual Garden Party (on Exmoor) on Saturday 10th July - for more information or to make an appointment, please contact Giles Hirst on 07968 117160 or giles.hirst@hanse-haus.com

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