UK's largest Passivhaus housing project to open its doors to the public

by Search Gate staff. Published Mon 20 Apr 2015 11:36
Lancaster Cohousing community will be open during upcoming Green Open Homes event
Lancaster Cohousing community will be open during upcoming Green Open Homes event

The largest certified Passivhaus housing project in the UK is opening its doors to the public.

Residents are inviting people to visit their eco homes, powered by locally generated, renewable energy, and to see the highly efficient, energy saving houses in action.

At least eight of the 41 Passivhaus, Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6, homes of the Lancaster Cohousing community will be open during the Green Open Homes event on the afternoons of Sunday 26th April and Saturday 2 May from 2-5pm.

The Green Open Homes afternoons will include tours of Lancaster Cohousing, Halton Lune Hydro and the Halton Mill low carbon workspace, all at Forgebank in Halton overlooking the River Lune.

The Forgebank homes and hot water are heated by a biomass district heating system and there are 80 kW of photovoltaics connected via an electricity micro-grid.

In cohousing each household has a self-contained, private home but residents come together to manage their community, share activities and eat together, and to share facilities such as guest rooms and a workshop.

The development is designed to make it easier to live a low carbon, sustainable lifestyle, and to encourage people to get to know their neighbours.

For the first time since the project was completed in 2013, there are houses for sale, with three currently on the market - a one bedroomed flat and two three bedroomed houses.

Visitors will also get the chance to see the new Halton Lune Hydro scheme, the biggest community hydro project in England, at Forge Weir just upstream of the Forgebank homes. It started generating electricity in December with a 100kW hydro-electric turbine.

Halton Mill is also opening it’s doors: an environmentally friendly and ethical business hub, it is home to an eclectic mix of artists, small businesses and social enterprises. The energy efficient refurbishment and renewables together have improved the energy efficiency of the historic Mill so much that it has been awarded a top “A” Rating Energy Performance Certificate, almost unheard of for an industrial building of this age.

“This is a great opportunity to see and be inspired by all the energy efficient schemes, and the vibrant community of residents, artists and businesses here at Forgebank,” said Chris Coates, from Lancaster Cohousing. “It shows that people working together can really cut their energy use.”



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