First 'passive homes' in Petersfield will test market

By Post in Local People

A PETERSFIELD design and build company is constructing the town’s first ‘passive houses’ – homes that are so energy efficient they can cut bills by up to 90 per cent.

The company, 6a Vision Homes of The Spain, also says the two environmentally friendly properties on its seven-house Holders Yard development may also be the first of their kind in the South Downs National Park.

Company director James Allen said: “We have decided to build two of the seven homes off Station Road as passive houses, the most rigorous standard in energy efficient homes – they are possibly the future of building.

“There is no heat source required, as they are so well insulated and air tight.”

A passive house is a concept rather than a brand name, and they can deliver energy savings of up to 90 per cent against bills paid by those in older homes, and up to 75 per cent lower energy bills compared with average new builds.

They are so well insulated, they can use energy sources inside the building such as the body heat from the residents or solar heat entering the building.

But while retaining comfort and style, the cost of such energy-saving homes is as yet unknown, says Mr Allen, who lives in Petersfield.

He said: “The build cost isn’t known accurately, but at the end of the build, we should have a really clear idea of the costs, and if passive houses sell for a premium, and if the model works for speculative builders.”

But so sure are the developers that the passive houses will deliver environmentally friendly low cost power bills, Mr Allen says the company is offering three years free energy to new owners.

And not only will the new homes save owners money, they will be on one of the first sites to deliver a Petersfield Neighbourhood Plan objective.

Mr Allen said: “This was identified in the plan as suitable for housing and offices, while keeping historically important buildings.

“The site contains two conservation buildings that we will turn into fantastic and desirable office space.

“This will make the site the first major success for the neighbourhood plan.”