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The energy-saving, social housing revolution > Passivhaus for the mass market

  • by JW

The Passivhaus is entering the mainstream:

Exeter affordable Passivhaus homes win award

The UK’s first passivhaus Leisure Centre and Bus Station comes to Exeter


Even if it gets a bit geeky:

Passive house is a green building design and construction approach that results in highly efficient residential and commercial buildings. Although commonly referred to under the term “passive house”, buildings constructed to this standard can be built to commercial scale as well as single family residential.

Passive Aggressive House comic | Passive house is a green bu… | Flickr



The Architect’s Journal is very impressed by a project in Norwich:


Mikhail Riches in Norwich: Passivhaus for the mass market

The Goldsmith Street development for Norwich City Council, due to complete this summer, shows that Passivhaus can lend itself to successful urban infill and placemaking…

Mikhail Riches in Norwich: Passivhaus for the mass market


The Guardian’s architecture correspondent Oliver Wainwright has also been taken by this development:


I’ve seen the future and it’s Norwich: the energy-saving, social housing revolution

Rows of glossy black tiles glisten in the afternoon sun, dripping down the facades like a neatly controlled oil slick. They cap a long row of milky brick houses, whose walls curve gently around the corners at the end of the street, dissolving into perforated brick balustrades, marking the presence of hidden rooftop patios. A planted alley runs between the backs of the terraced houses, dotted with communal tables and benches, where neighbours are sitting down to an outdoor meal.

This is Goldsmith Street, a new development of around 100 homes, built by Norwich city council, without a profit-hungry developer in sight. They are not homes that fit into the murky class of “affordable”, or the multitude of “intermediate” tenures. This is proper social housing, rented from the council with secure tenancies at fixed rents. Not only that, it is some of the most energy-efficient housing ever built in the UK, meeting the exacting German Passivhaus standards – which translates into a 70% reduction in fuel bills for tenants. It might not look groundbreaking, but this little neighbourhood represents something quietly miraculous. And it almost didn’t happen…

I’ve seen the future and it’s Norwich: the energy-saving, social housing revolution


And now it’s in line for a prize:

Sustainability joins mainstream in Riba Stirling Prize shortlist | Financial Times

Norwich council houses could win national Stirling Prize for UK’s best building | Eastern Daily Press


Today’s Architect News gives more details:


Four celebrated new British housing projects have just been shortlisted for the inaugural Neave Brown Award for Housing. The Royal Institute of British Architects launched the prize earlier this year in honor of the the social housing pioneer and 2018 Royal Gold Medal for Architecture laureate, Neave Brown.

“We urgently need to build new homes in the UK but must ensure that they are sustainable and of the highest quality to meet the needs of current and future generations,” commented RIBA President Ben Derbyshire. “This shortlist presents four exemplars – innovative, creative and highly desirable new communities in a diverse range of locations and situations.”

David Chipperfield, WilkinsonEyre and others among shortlisted …


Brown’s work is only now being recognised – as posted on the Futures Forum blog:

Neave Brown, ‘pioneer of quality public housing’, receives RIBA gold medal

Reimagining social housing

“Streets Apart” > a history of social housing @ BBC Radio 4