Swaffham architects win national award for low energy housing

A Swaffham architecture firm last night won a national award for a project to provide the first rural social housing scheme to designs that claim to significantly reduce energy use.

Parsons and Whittley, which is based in London Street, was honoured at the first UK Passivhaus Awards for the Wimbish Passivhaus project, which was delivered with Hastoe Housing Association.

Passivhaus buildings are designed and constructed to principles developed by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany and claim to reduce heating requirements by 75pc compared to other new homes in the UK.

Managing director Chris Parsons said: 'I think we were successful because the scheme of 14 dwellings for Hastoe Housing Association demonstrated the methodology could be delivered in the mainstream housing environment at a reasonable cost. The energy use of the houses has been monitored through the University of East Anglia for 12 months and we could demonstrate really low fuel bills and really high comfort levels.

'Parsons and Whittley Architects are really proud to be the recipients of the first ever UK Passivhaus award for residential buildings and it confirms our position as a leading innovator in the development of a low-energy, low-carbon future for the UK housing stock.

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'Our next Passivhaus scheme, at Ditchingham in Norfolk, again for Hastoe, is due for completion this month, addressing issues of fuel poverty and carbon reduction for their tenants.'

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