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Local eco house wins Building Excellence Award

Local eco house wins Building Excellence Award

Local eco house wins Building Excellence Award

A Victorian terrace house which was one of the first in the UK to undergo a Passvihaus retrofit has won the Best Sustainable Project Award from Bristol City Council as part of the 2012 Building Excellence Awards.

The property is one of the greenest social housing properties in the UK, and was a result of a partnership between Self Help Community Housing Community Housing Association Bristol, Mears Group, White Design, ARUP, Carnego, Sustrans Sustain and Forum of the Future.

Dave Gronback from Self Help Community Housing which owns the property said:

"This has been a really exciting project and I am delighted with the outcomes so far. Around half of Bristol's housing was built before 1919 and it is typically the most difficult to insulate and heat. By taking a Passivhaus approach to refurbishment, I believe we are well on the way to providing a model to ensure older housing can be made fit for the future. An intelligent refurbishment using Passivhaus principles will ensure that minimal energy is needed to heat the house or produce hot water. This not only slashes the carbon output of the building but as a consequence fuel poverty should no longer be an issue for any resident."

The house - a classic 'two-up, two down' Victorian terrace - was renovated over four months to near Passivhaus standards. The external walls were insulated and the windows replaced with Quadruple glazed timber box sash windows. Inside the house, a system recovers the heat created by household activities e.g. cooking and washing, and combines it with fresh air to reduce the reliance on central heating. On the upper floor, the stairway was opened to bring natural daylight into the middle of the house, and the roof houses a solar panel system to provide hot water.

The current resident, Sasha Shakespeare said "This house has been a blessing and a whole new experience for me and I love it. In the winter my fuel costs have halved. The rest of the year I pay next to nothing on heating and hot water because of the solar panels.  I love this house and hope I can live here for very long time."

Adrian Marshman, Regional Director for Mears, said "We are thrilled that the project has been recognised with this award.  We hope that this will pave the way for transforming other homes - to deliver both environmental benefits and lower energy bills for residents".

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