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Rural Initiatives - Passivhaus

Hastoe is specialist rural housing association and we recognise the serious challenge of fuel poverty in Rural England.

To tackle this problem, Hastoe has pioneered building Passivhaus homes. Passivhaus is a simple technique in theory – a highly energy-efficient method of building, based on exceptional air-tightness and mechanical ventilation. Passivhaus can achieve a 90% reduction in space heating standards and cut heating bills to a fraction of the national average.

Hastoe completed its first Passivhaus homes in the village of Wimbish, Essex, in 2011. It was the first Passivhaus social housing development in Rural England, providing 14 homes for local people at affordable rents.

Hastoe has worked with the University of East Anglia to monitor the performance of these homes since 2011. The results have been startling. The average annual gas bill for the houses can be as little as £130, dropping to £62 for the flats. Performance remains consistent, seven years after the development was completed.

That’s a huge annual saving for our residents of around £500 (excluding VAT) compared to the national average. It builds affordability into the fabric of the building – a saving that sits outside of any benefit or rent regime. Passivhaus keeps more money in the pockets of our residents.

Hastoe has now built over 100 Passivhaus homes and we plan to always have one Passivhaus scheme on site at all times. Building schemes to Passivhaus standard has clearly brought long-term financial and health benefits to our residents. But our wider, strategic aim has been to demonstrate that this method is a viable one for the whole social housing sector.

Hastoe’s most recently completed Passivhaus schemes in the village of Sharnbrook (Beds) has just been shortlisted in the National Housing Awards Best Design category. Other examples of Hastoe Passivhaus schemes and the year completed are below:

Burnham Overy Staithe, Norfolk (2014)
Crawley Down, Sussex (2015)
Sharnbrook, Bedfrodshire (2018)

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