Larch House, the UK’s first zero carbon Passivhaus at ‘The Works’ in Ebbw Vale built as prototype social housing has been recognised for its groundbreaking innovation as Low Energy Social Housing Project of the Year at Inside Housing and Chartered Institute of Housing’s Sustainability Awards 2011. United Welsh, and partners Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, bere:architects and Pendragon Design and Build worked collaboratively as part of the National Eisteddfod festival celebrations 2010 to build a house on the former steelworks site ‘The Works’ to showcase the ‘Passivhaus’ concept, with the support of BRE and the Welsh Government.
Up against stiff competition from across the UK the multi-award winning Larch House was recognised for its outstanding environmental success. Marcus Brigstocke comedian and campaigner presented the awards at the Park Lane Hilton hotel, in front of a packed house of over 500 senior industry figures.
The three bed property, called ‘Larch House’ after its Pembrokeshire Larch cladding, has been designed to meet Passivhaus certification. Passivhaus is a demanding construction standard for extremely low energy buildings which have excellent comfort conditions in both winter and summer. These principles can be applied not only to the residential sector but also to commercial, industrial and public buildings. Large south-facing windows, closed-panel timber framing ensuring draught-free construction and photovoltaic and solar thermal panels contribute to the zero-carbon footprint of the property.
Speaking on behalf of the partnership Gareth Davies, Head of Development at United Welsh said: “Larch House is a testament to successful partnership working. This innovative house is a real statement from the social housing sector in Wales. It is important that we continue to build houses that incorporate sustainable features both in the finished product and in the building process. All involved in this project proud of this prestigious award and recognition.”