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Burnham Overy Staithe

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Located in Burnham Overy Staithe, in Norfolk, United Kingdom, these Passivhaus units consist of a terrace of three dwellings, forming part of a mixed development of affordable and open market housing reflecting the local vernacular of traditional fisherman's cottages.

The use of flint, local red brick and clay pantiles help the buildings assimilate into the landscape and gives them a friendly, familiar appeal. The traditional deep reveals and smaller north facing windows required for the Passivhaus standard naturally reflect what our forebears understood about shelter and consequently the scheme had little difficulty in delivering this most modern standard within a traditional context.

The units are all designed as 2 bedroom houses at 77 m²; in addition to delivering remarkable operational energy, the building also received a Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 rating.

The houses are heated utilising a compact combination unit (no gas available), which also provides domestic hot water. Early monitoring indicates performance as anticipated with heat load hovering around 8 W/ m² to deliver a constant 21 degrees, internal air quality averaging 650 ppm and relative humidity averaging 55%.


Building data

Location: Burnham Overy Staithe, Norfolk

Building Type: Single family houses

Construction type: Cavity wall: fl int/brick/block

Completed in: February 2014

Occupancy status: Occupied since February 2014

Construction Cost (£/sqm): £1747 / £1022 dwelling-only

TFA: 201.6 m² (terrace of 3 dwellings)


Sustainability features

Primary Energy Demand: 108kWh/ m²a by tfa.

Heating Demand: 14kWh/ m²a by tfa.

Heating & Cooling Load: 10W/ m²

Air pressure result: 0.6ach @50Pa

Combined Ventilation & Heating strategy: Genvex Combi

185, inlets/exhausts disguised in special roof tiles.

Shading strategy: External blinds / deep window reveals

U-Values W/m2K: Walls 0.096/0.090(fl int portion), Floor

0.078, Roof 0.079, Doors 1.20, Windows 0.78.

Other features: CfSH Level 4, Lifetime Homes, Building

for Life (14 points), Secure by Design, high scoring HQIs


Team credits

Client: Hastoe Housing Association

Architect: Parsons + Whittley Ltd

Consultants: ESC Ltd / Total Home Environment

Contractor: E N Suiter & Sons Ltd

Certifi er: MEAD Energy & Architectural Design Ltd



Winner in the Architectural Design Category of the UK Passivhaus Awards 2014.


For further information, please visit the relevant UK Passivhaus website.


Lessons learnt

An important message for all stakeholders in the building construction sector is that the challenging Passivhaus standard remains deliverable without compromising on architectural or design quality.

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