Our new house projects are designed to principles of Passivhaus. This achieves the most energy efficient houses by minimising the heat loss from buildings.

This is to take a fabric first approach which includes:

• Incorporating high levels of insulation (beyond the requirements of the current Building Regulations) to minimise the escape of heat.

• Optimisation of passive solar gain through glazing (maximising southern facing glass/minimising North facing glass) during the winter months – incorporating solar control of unwanted solar heating in the summer months.

• Energy efficient glazing and frames – low-E glass and thermally broken frames to minimise heat loss through windows

• Detailing to achieve airtightness for the winter months to control heat loss through the leakage of heated air.

• Avoid the heat loss effect of extractor fans that pump heated air outside. The installation of a ventilation system that introduces fresh air whilst transferring the warmth from stale air to fresh air.

• Construction design that overcomes cold bridging – this is the transfer of heat through elements found in traditional building structures that acts as a heat sink to drain heat from buildings.

When each of these are taken to the ultimate effect the heat losses of a building is reduced to the extent that only small levels of heating is needed.