Work has begun to build the UK’s largest development of energy efficient and virtually air tight homes in the UK, which will help home-owners, reduce their energy bills and cut carbon emissions by up to 90%.
Little Kelham, at Kelham Island in the heart of Sheffield will offer 107 Passive Houses built by award winning sustainable property developer Citu.
Passive Houses are essentially buildings which use very little energy for heating and cooling. The houses are so energy efficient that they can save up to 90% in heating costs. They minimise air leakage from the property so that any heat created is not lost due to poor insulation which is often found in the majority of the UK’s housing stock.
The houses use the latest in insulation technology, triple-glazed windows, balanced energy recovery ventilation and are heated mostly using ‘passive’ energy from electrical equipment, body heat and solar gains.
Each of Citu’s homes will be constructed to rigorous Passivhaus standards designed to drastically reduce household fuel and heating costs. The principles of the Passivhaus system began in Germany in the late 1980s.
Only 15-20,000 Passive Houses have been constructed across the globe. They are already popular in Scandinavia and Germany, and with energy prices in the UK rising, the UK is slowly catching up with developers like Citu setting an example.
With average household energy bills reported to increase by up to £100 a year, Chris Thompson Managing Director and founder of Citu believes that by investing in energy efficient homes such as this now, home owners will be able to reap the substantial benefits of cheaper energy bills.
Chris said: “Passivhaus is recognised as the worldwide standard for energy efficient building, so it makes perfect sense for us to offer this at Little Kelham. Why wouldn’t you build something which could help people save money in the long run?
“As a developer it is important for us look at ways in which our homes, can help those living in them lead a more sustainable lifestyle, offering them a greater choice and providing a bigger push for energy efficient homes.
“With Government goals to reduce carbon emissions by 2016 and buildings accounting for 48% of the world’s carbon emissions, demand for homes which are far more efficient and actually conserve rather than waste energy, will only increase.
“At Little Kelham, our energy efficient houses will go further offering people more than just a home, as we hope to transform the site from a property development into a community through its design and co-operative principles.
“Our plans include options for an onsite bakery, nursery and creative workspaces, which will provide a welcome addition to Kelham Island’s already vibrant culture.
“The idea behind Little Kelham is to create an area of sustainable housing, which not only achieves high levels of energy efficiency, but also encourages a sense of community helping breathe new life into a previously disused area.”
The scheme is already in its construction phase and the first homes will be ready for occupation in summer 2014. Prices range from £115,000 to £280,000.
More information about Little Kelham can be found at: www.littlekelham.com
In order to be certified by the Passivhaus Insituit (the world standard) a building must consume less than 15kw hours of electricity per square metre for heating and cooling.
The Passive Houses at Little Kelham achieve this standard through super insulated air tight walls, floors and roofs and triple glazed windows to keep buildings warm in winter and cool in summer.
Houses are ventilated using a heat exchanger, which has a micro heat pump to extract heat from the air providing low energy climate control.
With 90% less space heating required than a standard building, a Passive House is designed to assure a comfortable indoor climate in summer and require only nominal heating through the winter months without the need for a conventional heating system.
Citu is an award winning sustainable housing developer based in Yorkshire, which believes in challenging convention when it comes to house building, to create homes which have design, sustainability and community at their heart.
Founded by Chris Thompson in 2004, the firm has since grown welcoming Fraser Stride, Allan Garbutt and Aisling Ramshaw as part of the management team alongside Chris.
Citu uses design, technology and recycled resources to create innovative buildings that help bring communities together. Successful projects include the Greenhouse development in South Leeds and the refurbishment of Munro House also in South Leeds.