Passivhaus homes earn Shropshire builders award nomination

The first ever Passivhaus social housing scheme in Mid Wales has been shortlisted in awards that will celebrate the best construction projects in Wales.

Pave Aways site manager Tom Ford and construction director Jamie Evans at the new homes in Sarn
Pave Aways site manager Tom Ford and construction director Jamie Evans at the new homes in Sarn

The scheme in Sarn, which was built by Oswestry-based Pave Aways for Powys County Council, is one of four to make the final of the Residential Property of the Year category at the Constructing Excellence Wales awards. The winner will be revealed in a ceremony at Celtic Manor in Newport on June 17.

The £1.3 million Sarn development was the first social housing scheme to be built for the local authority in 30 years and the authority’s first ever Passivhaus homes.

It was developed by the council’s Affordable Housing Team and was part of the council’s Transformation Programme to deliver aspirations in Vision 2025, including to build 250 new homes by 2025.

Passivhaus is an international design standard, slashing energy use from buildings and delivering high standards of comfort and health.

The seven energy efficient homes – four two-bedroom bungalows, two two-bedroom and one three-bedroom houses – were built using low-energy construction methods and include sustainability features such as solar panels and mechanical heat ventilation recovery systems.

Welsh-grown wood was used for the timber frame, while cellulose fibre insulation, manufactured from recycled newspaper, was used to reduce the use of plastics.

The homes were designed by Wales-based Hughes Architects with support from Passivhaus experts PYC, from Welshpool, and consulting civil and structural engineers Bradley Associates, from Cardiff.

Managing director Steven Owen said: “This project delivered on many levels, so it’s great to see it get this recognition. As well as providing high quality, energy-efficient homes for tenants, it gave a significant economic boost to the area, with 88 per cent of the overall spend taking place within a 30-mile radius of the project.

“It also led to the upskilling of our team and sub-contractors as they learned new skills for building Passivhaus homes that can be used in other schemes in Powys and beyond.”

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