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Fairglen: Eco Homes Phase 2

Fairglen

Situated on Loggans Road in Hayle, Cornwall, Fairglen is an exclusive state-of-the-art housing development boasting a stunning collection of eco-friendly family homes. The development – built by Percy Williams & Sons Ltd – is being constructed in two phases and once complete will include a mix of private and affordable homes.

Phase 1 of Fairglen was completed in 2007 and is fully occupied. Phase 2 of the project – the construction of 20 new homes – is currently underway and comprises a mix of six terraced and 14 semi-detached two-storey houses.

Define Solutions is the Project Manager on the scheme, while Lilly Lewarne Practice is providing all architectural services. Warm: Low Energy Building Services is the Passivhaus Consultants on the project.

Discussing the project, Neil Dolley, Lilly Lewarne Practice, said:

“The first phase of eight private and five affordable homes set a very high benchmark for the region in 2007, and was in the words of the Carbon Trust ‘an exemplar low-energy development that far exceeds the energy standards for Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4.’

“Construction work on Phase 2 commenced in May 2016, with houses being constructed to meet Passivhaus standards. The aim is to achieve over 80% lower heating bills (over a standard build), potentially even higher reductions in carbon emissions and outstanding indoor comfort all year round.”

The new houses at Fairglen are being constructed using reinforced ground bearing slabs, cavity blockwork and a pitched roof structure on trussed rafters. Wall finishes include Cedral Click (smooth) weather boarding and Knauf Marmorite external render, while windows are Rationel Aura Plus thermally broken Alu clad timber framed units with triple glazing.

Each house includes a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery (MVHR).

Fairglen Phase 2 has been designed to achieve an Energy Performance Rating and an Environmental Impact CO² Rating of Band A. This is being achieved alongside the Passivhaus PHPP calculations by providing a 3.0kWp photo voltaic array per dwelling.

One of the key aspects of the design detailing has been the elimination of thermal bridging at junctions. Architectural details have been thermally modelled by Warm: Low Energy Building Practice and the design details have been developed through close dialogue between design team members to help eliminate and minimise possible thermal bridging.

As this project involves Passivhaus construction, there have been notable changes in the sequencing of the construction works on site, when compared to a standard construction programme. Passivhaus requires buildings to achieve an airtight envelope with extremely low levels of air leakage, so great care and attention is being taken during the design and construction phases to minimise potential air leakage.

Simon Williams of Percy Williams and Sons, said:

“We are running this project with a small team of skilled trades-people and subcontractors who we know and trust to reach the high standards required for this type of build and to solve the day-to-day technical issues that occur. Notably the Project Manager, Tim Kitchen is extremely experienced and capable. We do recognise this is a pioneering project for us as small developers but I have personally had an interest in sustainable technology for 40 years, so the opportunity to build a whole development to these principles is a challenge I welcome.”

Simon added:

“Phase 1 was very much an experiment, not only in terms of the technology and the building techniques, but also in the market place; as we were effectively pioneering the repetitive-build eco-house concept even though we were unsure if house-buyers would be prepared to pay more for something that would cost less in terms of the energy usage.

“A sharp economic recession complicated the outcome of this question, and we have returned with it largely unanswered for Phase 2 with Passivhaus designs, which we see as the current best-equivalent to our Phase 1 houses. Hayle seems the right place for this innovation, being one of the towns responsible for enormous technological advances during Cornwall’s mining heyday with a proud history of finding answers to the challenges of those days. The site is set only a short distance from one of today’s equivalents – the Wave-Hub located in St. Ives Bay.

“We hope this development will help promote the future of the area as one of excellence in sustainable technology, seen as rising to today’s challenges of climate change and declining fossil fuels.”

Fairglen Phase 2 is currently scheduled to reach completion during the fourth quarter of 2017.

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