The Pheasantry, Crawley Down, West Sussex

The Pheasantry is Hastoe’s fourth Passivhaus development built as an exception site.

HastoeHousing Association
Hastoe Housing

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PMC Construction Services (contractor); Mid Sussex District Council; PCKO Architects; Worth Parish Council

Scheme outline
Following the success of Hastoe’s first development in Crawley Down which completed in June 2012, the Parish Council invited Hastoe to start work on a second scheme straight away.

Homes were completed in March 2015. The scheme is made up of 26 dwellings. The tenure is as follows:

8 one bedroom flats
2 two bedroom flats
6 two bedroom houses
6 three bedroom houses

Shared ownership:
2 two bedroom houses
2 two bedroom flats

Hastoe decided to build this scheme to Passivhaus standard and Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4. Passivhaus techniques reduce carbon emissions and fuel bills to around 10% of the average UK dwelling. The properties have exceptionally low energy demands and maintain very high comfort standards.

To achieve this the properties also have exceptionally high insulation levels; high performance doors and windows; reduced thermal bridging; very low air leakage; mechanical ventilation with heat recovery; and, the use of passive solar gains to heat the houses.

The scheme not only achieves the exacting Passivhaus Standard and Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, but also Lifetime Homes Standards, Secure by Design and scored greater than 14 points when assessed against the Building for Life Criteria.

Because the project is a rural exception site, the local housing need has been addressed exclusively with residents who originate from the local area who can now continue to live there affordably.

Hastoe has developed a relationship with Ecology Building Society, who have agreed to offer mortgages on rural exception sites with just a 5% deposit as well as a discount of 1.25% off purchasers mortgage interest rate.

This helps local people on low incomes to get on the housing ladder. The properties incorporate all of the recommendations of the Lifetime Homes standard to allow residents to continue living in the same property even if their needs change.

This includes provision for stair lift installation and knock out panels to facilitate hoist access between bedrooms and bathrooms etc. Level thresholds are provided to all doorways, and facilities for home working are also included in the design.

Good practice
The Passivhaus homes built achieved an average air leakage rate of 0.6 air changes per hour (compared to building regulations assumption of 0.15 air changes per hour).

The homes also provide water consumption savings and recycling facilities. With fuel prices predicted to rise significantly, the cost savings for residents are anticipated to be substantial. The Passivhaus Standard is an innovative approach to developing homes which uses minimal energy for heating and cooling while providing high levels of comfort.

Hastoe is committed to protecting the environment while developing the highest quality homes which are affordable to run for its residents. To meet these goals we created the Vivohaus brand: homes based on the Passivhaus Standard, deliverable at a cost which makes them viable as affordable homes.

By following a set of rigorous and certifiable design and construction principles, the Passivhaus Standard can achieve a 90% reduction in space heating requirements when compared to standard UK new builds.

This frequently produces heating bills at around 10% of the norm for similar sized houses, but in addition provides a clean, healthy, fresh and above all comfortable environment for the occupants.

Total scheme cost – £4.5 million
Homes & Communities Agency – £547,586
Mid Sussex District Council – £138,503

“A robustly constructed, attractive scheme that successfully fulfils the criteria. It’s a rural exception site, so outside normal planning rules – meeting housing need in a rural area.”
Judges citation, Best Sustainable Scheme, 2015 National Housing Awards.