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Cambridge City Council

Work begins on the first Passivhaus council homes in Cambridge

27 September 2022

WITH the impact of continued rising energy costs and a drive towards meeting Cambridge City Council’s objectives to be net zero carbon by 2030, Cambridge Investment Partnership has started work to deliver its first pilot Passivhaus council homes for local residents.

The 12 new low carbon council homes at Fen Road, East Chesterton are the first of three sites that have been chosen by CIP for Passivhaus pilot council homes. 

The development at 71-73 Fen Road sees the replacement of two existing single storey buildings, which are no longer in use and in a poor state of repair with 12 low carbon homes comprising 8 two bedroom homes; 2, three bedroom homes; 1 three bedroom wheelchair adapted house, and 1 four bedroom wheelchair adapted home. 

Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said, “We are now in an era of increasing living costs, which are impacting everyone, so I’m delighted that we are able to bring forward this Passivhaus pilot scheme to not only deliver the much needed council housing in the city, but to provide homes that cut energy bills, tackle fuel poverty and are great places to live. I am especially pleased that two of these houses are wheelchair adapted for families, which is important as we look to tackle inequality and provide more fully adapted homes for disabled people.”

Cambridge Investment Partnership has worked with experienced architect Pollard Thomas Edwards, The Environment Partnership and Carter Jonas to bring forward this scheme. The pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council homes will have very low energy use and heating costs and will be built using off-site timber frame systems, with thick highly insulated walls and gas free heating.

Tom Hill, Regional Director for Hill comments, “As a partnership we are committed to creating sustainable homes with all our new developments gas free. These new Passivhaus council homes go one step further to enable us to learn and continue to enhance our approach to sustainability which can be implemented further across all future developments.

“The pilot will allow us to explore the delivery of cost-efficient low carbon housing for the future in terms of up-front building costs, ongoing maintenance costs for the Council and low bills for residents.” 

As part of the development, CIP will create a new, safe and green access for walking and cycling to the Five Trees open space, which will be preserved in its entirety, helping the local community to enjoy this space.  

There will also be parking spaces with electric vehicle charging points and generous provision for new cycle parking. This well positioned site will provide easy access to the city centre and other amenities for local residents. 

Cambridge Investment Partnership will also be delivering Passivhaus council homes at Borrowdale and Ditton Fields. 

Passivhaus buildings achieve a 75% reduction in space heating requirements compared to the standard practice for UK new build homes. The Passivhaus standard therefore gives a robust method to help the industry achieve the 80% carbon reductions that are set as a legislative target by the UK Government. 

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