On land donated by Lord Hastings with the proviso that the homes would represent maximum sustainability and exemplar design, Lovell built eight homes on two sites, with the four homes at Fulmodeston built to achieve Passivhaus certification. Development was permitted under the Rural Exception Housing policies to provide affordable homes for local households.
The area suffers from high fuel poverty, low average incomes and no mains gas provision. The Passivhaus approach significantly reduced energy costs, leaving householders with disposable income to afford their home, free from risk of fluctuating fuel costs.
The four properties at Barney were built to achieve code level 3 and the four homes at Fulmodeston were built to achieve Passivhaus. The core focus of the Passivhaus standard is to reduce the requirement for space heating and cooling through the use of efficient building fabric, whilst also creating excellent indoor air quality and comfort levels. In addition, the homes had:
Thermo-efficient building materials
210 litre rainwater butts to each property
Double-glazed windows - or triple-glazed windows to the Passivhaus certified homes
Solar shading to prevent homes from overheating
Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery
Water-saving devices to bathrooms and kitchens
Low energy light fittings to all properties
The houses are so energy efficient that no central heating system is required, which was a first for Passivhaus schemes in the East of England.
The homes were constructed using a panelised SIP system offering very high levels of air tightness and reduced thermal bridging. Passivhaus-accredited composite windows add to high energy performance and ensure indoor comfort. Shading is provided by larch brise-soleils with locally-sourced larch lapped rain screen cladding chosen for the façade.