UK’s first rural affordable Passivhaus scheme continues to perform well after 10 years

A 10-year assessment of the performance of the UK’s first rural affordable Passivhaus scheme has found that it continues to meet expectations and perform as designed

The assessment of the 14 Passivhaus homes built in 2011 by Hastoe Housing Association in Wimbish, Essex, is the first to consider Passivhaus performance over such a long period of time in the UK. The in-depth assessment has determined the homes, a mix of houses and flats for shared ownership and affordable rent, continue to be comfortable, healthy and economic to run. The assessment which included a resident survey found the heating bills of some residents were only £30 a quarter.

The findings are published in a recent report written by Martin Ingham, a Passivhaus Designer and independent consultant specialising in energy efficiency in the built environment.

This latest assessment builds on the Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) funded Building Performance Evaluation study that covered the period from 1 April 2011 to 30 September 2013, and on assessments in 2016 and 2018.

Martin Ingham of Linktreat Ltd, said:

“Earlier Building Performance Evaluations confirmed the Wimbish Passivhaus Development met Hastoe’s objective to deliver very low heating bills, while providing excellent comfort. The evaluation has now been continued to cover a ten-year period, and our recent reassessment has shown that heating and hot water costs remain a fraction of the cost for dwellings of comparable size. This will be invaluable for residents given the recent steep rise in energy costs, and shows the industry that by adopting high performance standards low bills can be achieved.”

The decade-long monitoring and assessment has confirmed there are no adverse performance trends and has also helped to identify defects so they can be remedied. The report makes recommendations to reduce the risk of future developments experiencing any ‘performance gap’.

Full details of the assessments, including the latest 10-year assessment, can be downloaded at:

The ten-year study has been made possible with the ongoing support of Hastoe Housing Association as well as other organisations including UEA, Innovate UK, Trend Microsystems, Green Building Store, Usable Buildings, New Build Air Testing, ECS Anglia and the EU Build with CaRe project.