Surreal Estate Ltd. - St Albans

Development of three Passivhaus Plus dwellings in St Albans.

The dwellings are to be constructed from prefabricated timber frame panels which are insulated using cellulose insulation (recycled newspaper) and are factory airtightness tested to ensure that they meet the Passive House standard. The southern-facing roof slopes of Dwellings 1 and 2, and the western-facing roof slope of Dwelling 3, will use solar panels as the roof finish. This will further reduce the energy demands of the houses and supplement the hot water requirements, the rest of which will be provided by air source heat pumps, rendering the properties ‘gas free’. The walls are to be finished in a mixture of lime render and locally sourced western red cedar cladding which ties the properties to their position on the edge of woodland and provides a sustainable and breathable construction solution. The non-solar roof slopes will be finished in either a slate or anthracite grey concrete roof tile.

All three properties make the most of the natural light available on the site through the clerestory windows (on the south elevations of Dwellings 1 and 2 and the west elevation of Dwelling 3) and having tall strip windows and voids through the floor plates, ensuring that as much light as possible reaches into the middle of the ground floor, providing an excellent internal environment for the inhabitants, which, when coupled with the MVHR ventilation system will create a very healthy living environment, free from pollutants and allergens.