Norwich City Council is seeking partners for a £300m framework to build hundreds of super-energy efficient homes. Its’ tender notice launched in May heralds what could become one of the largest drives to build Passivhaus homes seen across the UK.
Open to all housing associations, the 4 year framework could deliver 900 Passivhaus homes. These will be built to rigorous design standards to ensure they are highly energy efficient.
287 Passivhaus Starter
With 3 projects totalling 287 Passivhaus homes in the immediate pipeline, further projects are likely to follow. Norwich City Council is keen to exceed the standards required in building regulations, both for environmental reasons and as part of a drive to reduce fuel poverty.
The Passivhaus standard is more usual in Germany and Scandinavia. Here the construction framework, dubbed Fabric First, will be used by the council and others to develop schemes built to the standard.
Norwich Puts Fabric First
Norwich City Council’s ‘Fabric First’ framework is designed to provide a supply chain of partners to facilitate the building of these homes economically and quickly. It will be awarded on 4 August and run for at least four years.
They say “We are seeking contractors for our own council-led schemes but by setting up a framework, it will be easier for other local authorities and registered providers to procure contractors with the skills and expertise to build to Passivhaus standards.”
Death of “The Code”
As the Code for Sustainable Homes is being made redundant, Andrew Eagles, managing director of consultancy Sustainable Homes, sees it as ‘really exciting that councils make more use of Passivhaus instead. In his view “The Passivhaus standard is really good, because it is about comfort as well as just energy efficiency.”
80% Energy Savings
Passivhaus homes have to be extremely air-tight and installed with high thermal insulation, making it an expensive and difficult standard to achieve. However, occupants can save up to 80% on energy bills.
Public Sector Lead
Joanne Wheeler, senior sustainability advisor at the UK Green Building Council, said: “It’s great to see the public sector taking a lead in developing high quality affordable homes and trialling new methods of delivery through the supply chain. The future residents of these homes will be able to enjoy very low energy bills for years to come.”
read original ‘Inside Housing’ report
Low Energy Homes
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