First UK Passivhaus to be built with cavity wall construction and one of the first certified Passivhaus homes in the UK.
- Cavity wall construction
- 118m2 three-bed detached house
- £141K basic build costs
- Minimal heating – using 90% less energy for space heating than the UK average
- Design and build project led by Green Building Store
- Later followed by the Golcar Passivhaus project, which developed some of the cavity wall detailing further
The Denby Dale Passivhaus in West Yorkshire has sought to provide a solution to the urgent need to drastically cut the CO2 emissions from buildings in the UK and has tried to create a low-cost and easily replicable template for low energy Passivhaus construction, using techniques and materials familiar to British builders.
Built by Green Building Store’s construction division – Green Building Company – the project is the first certified Passivhaus in the UK to be built using cavity wall construction and has pioneered the combination of British vernacular construction methods with the German low energy Passivhaus design methodology. The original design details developed for the project can also be used as a template for the construction industry as to how to minimize thermal bridging, improve energy efficiency and maximise the airtightness of projects built using cavity wall construction.
Final certification figures
- Total floor area: 118m2
- Treated floor area: 104.4m2
- Heating requirement/ year: 15 kWh/m2/year
- Heat load: 10 W/m2
- Primary energy requirement: 87 kWh/m2/year
- Airtightness: 0.33 ach @ 50 Pa (to Passivhaus and Euronorm standard)
- Exterior wall: 0.113W/m2K
- Roof: 0.096 W/m2K
- Ground floor: 0.104 W/m2K
- Windows/ average: 0.8 W/m2K
Denby Dale Passivhaus Technical summary – download pdf
Denby Dale Passivhaus Factsheet – download pdf
Denby Dale Passivhaus Monitoring and Performance report – download pdf
In association with BUILDING magazine we contributed a regular blog from Project Leader Bill Butcher as the build progressed, highlighting along the way the special challenges – and pitfalls – of Passivhaus construction in a UK context.
Week one – Early lessons
Week two – Why we chose cavity wall
Week three – Dr Wolfgang Feist
Week four – Reducing thermal bridging
Week five – Materials
Week six – Thermal bypass
Week seven – The walls
Week eight – The wall openings
Week nine – Floor junctions
Week ten – The roof
Week eleven – Making the roof airtight
Week twelve – Windtightness and reducing thermal bypass
Week thirteen – Windows & doors
Week fourteen – Ventilation (MVHR)
Week fifteen – MVHR ducting design
Week sixteen – Spreading the word
Week seventeen – Achieving airtightness
Week eighteen – The first airtightness test results
Week nineteen – Heating
Week twenty – Coming to an end
Week twenty-one – Certification!
‘We think this is the future’ – article on Denby Dale Passivhaus in BUILDING magazine 18/09/09
Pioneering UK Passivhaus certified – article on Denby Dale Passivhaus on BUILDING website 30/04/10
Living in the Denby Dale Passivhaus
The owners of the Denby Dale Passivhaus also write occasional blogs, which chronicle their experiences of living in one of the UK’s first Passivhaus homes. The blogs look at what it is like living with MVHR ventilation and ultra low gas bills and also hopes to answer such things as how to dry towels in a Passivhaus and whether you can open the windows etc.
The Denby Dale Passivhaus project has won – and been shortlisted for – a number of awards including:
RIBA Yorkshire White Rose Architecture Awards 2010
- Sustainability Award
- Housing award
- Architecture Award (Bronze)
- Client of the Year Award
Sustainability Awards 2010
SUSTAIN Magazine Awards 2011
- Construction Award
Greenbuild Awards 2012
- Breakthrough Award
RISE Awards 2015
Research / Innovation / Sustainability / Enterprise: “Celebrating Research and Development”
- Sustainable Developments(Domestic & Non Domestic) & Energy
“Great to see the UK’s first Passivhaus using traditional construction techniques – exactly the kind of innovation we need over the next few years in terms of addressing both climate change and fuel poverty.”
Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future
“The Green Building Store team is to be commended for adapting the Passivhaus methodology to British building techniques and for constructing the first Passivhaus using cavity wall construction in Britain. The Denby Dale project has proven that Passivhaus design can be easily adapted to British building techniques. Airtightness is not a myth – the rules of physics are the same everywhere – and wet plaster offers an excellent airtightness barrier for cavity walls, if applied to all surfaces of external walls and connected properly at the joints. The Green Building Store team has done a great job at Denby Dale and also in helping to spread the word about Passivhaus design in the UK. Congratulations!”
Professor Wolfgang Feist – originator of the Passivhaus methodology and founder of the Passivhaus Institut in Germany
“We are delighted with our new house and are very excited to be moving in. Green Building Store and the building team have worked with us to create the style of house we wanted, whilst also meeting the exacting requirements of the Passivhaus standard. We have been delighted both with the design and the quality of the build. It is light, airy and spacious while also using 90% less energy for space heating than standard. We wanted to build a modest house at a modest price that will make significant savings on world resources and are looking forward to living in our comfortable and peaceful new home with minimal fuel bills in our retirement. We have enjoyed the inclusive process of being part of the building team and have been fully involved all the way from our initial discussions in all the stages of the design.”
Clients Geoff & Kate Tunstall
“Kirklees Council is at the forefront of local government efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings and we are delighted to have the low energy exemplar Denby Dale Passivhaus project within the Kirklees area. We are fortunate to be able to benefit from Green Building Store’s expertise in this exciting new approach to low energy construction and we hope that the Denby Dale Passivhaus will offer a template for the construction industry to help deal with the urgent problems of climate change and fuel poverty.”
Councillor Mehboob Khan, then Leader of Kirklees Council
“When walking into the house it felt very fresh and cool inside. With the large windows and lack of infiltration I had almost been expecting it to be overheated and stuffy, but this was not the case at all. The house is light and bright inside, whilst the ventilation evidently maintains comfortable conditions. The design is quite simple and after visiting this house I am surprised that more people don’t build this way.”
Kirklees Council Building Control Officer Ruth King on visited the Denby Dale Passivhaus at completion stage.
Register here for a free 40 page technical briefing following all stages of the construction of the Denby Dale Passivhaus, the UK’s first cavity wall Passivhaus. The technical briefing is designed for architects, building professionals and self-builders and complements our blog and technical film.
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