Funded by the Technology Strategy Board under its Building Performance Evaluation (Domestic Buildings) programme, this is the Phase 1, 'Post Construction and Early Occupation' report for our Welsh Passive House (Passivhaus) social housing Prototypes at Ebbw Vale, South Wales.

The two prototype houses were designed by bere:architects with Alan Clarke (services) and Bob Johnson (structures) after winning the BRE (Wales) Passive House (Passivhaus) competition. BRE collaborative technical assistance was provided by Rob McLeod. The houses were built by United Welsh Housing Association (UWHA) under a traditional contract which we administered, with funding from the Welsh Government and the EU. 

The Phase 1 report has found that the building fabric design of both buildings met their high design performance intentions. Indeed in a number of respects it has been found that both buildings have performed better than their design intentions (eg ref. the Welsh School of Architecture co-heating test results).

In conclusion, both the Larch and the Lime Passive House (Passivhaus) prototypes performed according to, or slightly better than design according to scientific fabric co-heating tests.

For 18 months after completion of the prototype buildings, they were exhibited and opened for private seminars provided by BRE (Wales) for the Welsh and international business community. 

Eventually in May 2012 the buildings were handed back to UWHA for residents to move in and Phase 2 in-use monitoring then commenced. 

Co-heating tests:

By 2010, a team at Leeds Metropolitan University had assembled a substantial body of co-heating test results on a selection of UK buildings. Led by Jezz Wilkinson, the results mostly exposed a serious gap between design aspirations and actual performance, as shown in the graph below. The buildings are not identified because the University's anonymity guarantees don't permit the naming of the numerous under-performing buildings tested. In this context, the graph below illustrates how significant the co-heating tests are, that were carried out on our Larch House, Lime House and Camden Passive house. All three of bere:architects' buildings, uniquely, met their design targets, and performed between two times and five times better than the buildings listed in this table presented by Sarah Birchall to the BSRIA AGM in 2011 (below). More general info, by Sarah Birchall, on co-heating tests here.

BSRIA agm 2011 co heating tests sarah birchall