Thursday 23 December 2010

Site Visits Extended! Plus, FAQs

Due to overwhelming demand the project team have decided to facilitate an additional open event day at the Passivhaus site in Wimbish in February. The open event will provide a brief presentation followed by a walk around the site. Time for questions and answers will be at the end. The event is free but restricted to 15 attendees and a maximum of 2 people per organisation. The event booking is on a first come first serve basis. For enquiries and bookings please contact

Upcoming Events
Tuesday 4 January 2011 – FULLY BOOKED
Tuesday 1st February 2011, 1.30pm to 4pm

The open events we held in November and December were really well attended and even though we had a few late cancellations due to the snowy weather condition in early December we were able to fill most spaces at the last moment.

Nick Jones of Inbuilt and Chris Parsons of Parsons & Whittley are doing a fantastic job with their presentations. They provide an interesting and informative overview of the Passivhaus principles and provide some specific examples in regards to Wimbish. The December site walk around was rather brief due to the freezing conditions and everybody appreciated the hot cup of tea or coffee back at the village hall.

The discussions back at the village hall provide a great opportunity to get further valid information and here are just some of the frequently asked questions:

Q:   What are the cost implications in comparison to a conventional building?
A:   Hastoe’s cost consultant Davis Langdon is currently undertaking a cost comparison to some of Hastoe’s Code Level 4 schemes and this information will be available on the blog soon

Q:   What happens if people want to fix items like pictures or shelves to the walls?
A:   Fixing to internal walls is not a problem as long as the occupants fill the wholes with a wall plug and screw. Hastoe will need to ensure that following any tenancy change wholes left will be filled to re-instate the airtightness of the building.

Q:   You have explained that the construction method at Wimbish is thin joint blockwork with an external insulation and render finish. This sounds like a standard construction method used in England?
A:   The approach for Wimbish was to use local materials where possible and local labour, and it is indeed correct that this method is not ground breaking and is widely used, but the standards for a Passivhaus do need to be to a much higher.

Ulrike Maccariello, Development Manager, Hastoe

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Arctic weather slows progress

I've been anxiously hoping to add something to the blog of value over the last month, but frankly the weather has beaten us all and I think it's unlikely to relent before Christmas. Our last site presentation included only a restricted walk round the site because so much of the site and scaffold was frozen and icy. Hopefully the visits and presentations have been informative, we certainly get some good feedback. See other blog entries for more details on these.

The blocks are now all complete in terms of superstructures, and felt and batten is halfway there but the weather has even held that up!

Windows have arrived and everyone is very excited by the quality of the product, even though they still sit securely in the container. Given that they are already triple glazed, they are quite heavy, (hence the debate regarding fixings), and manouvering them on an icy site may be problematic.

The external insulation has also arrived so we really just need the weather to clear and we can get progress moving again.

It looks like we have secured a great monitoring arrangement with the UEA and we shall be installing some telemetry in one of each of the different units to provide feedback on the energy use of the properties, hopefully over a two year period.

In the meantime, Happy Christmas to all our readers and we look forward to reporting real progress in the new year!

Chris Parsons
Parsons + Whittley