Site Visit: 'The Sequel' - Aiming for the largest 100% Certified Passivhaus scheme in the UK - Norwich
The Green Register held a site visit of this innovative and ambitious project in May where delegates were given a talk and tour by various members of the design team.
This follow up visit, requested by delegates attending the one in May, offers a tour of a near completed project providing an insight into the challenges of achieving Passivhaus at large scale and ‘working’ examples of the issues experienced will be visible for discussion.
About the project
In 2008, architects Mikhail Riches (then called Riches Hawley Mikhail) won an international RIBA competition to design one hundred homes in the centre of Norwich for Norwich City Council. Mikhail Riches have developed the project since the competition, developing it into a certified Passivhaus scheme, recently winning a Housing Design Project Award in 2016. The scheme is due for completion late 2018.
With an equal mix of 60 flats and 45 houses, all homes are to be socially rented by Norwich City Council. Each will have very low annual fuel bills, helping to alleviate much of the fuel poverty associated with low income households.
The design re-introduces streets and houses in an area which is otherwise dominated by 20th Century blocks of flats. Street widths are intentionally narrow at 14 metres, emulating the 19th Century model of the surrounding ‘Golden Triangle’ . Parking is on-street and a 20mph speed limit applied. As well as houses, every flat too has its own front door onto the street – first and second floor flats have their own dedicated ground floor lobby and their own dedicated staircase. There are no common parts for the council to maintain, other than the street itself. Every home has and either a garden or a balcony.
A shared ‘alley’ encouraging small children’s play and communal gathering is accessible from back gardens – a secure place which only key holders (residents) can access. Other existing green links have been reinforced with a landscape scheme that extends beyond the boundaries of the site to include local roads and a park.
The project has notably been let under a Traditional JCT Contract. The design has also managed to accommodate a significant value-engineering exercise, all the while ensuring the goal of certified Passivhaus Standard coupled with high quality design.
Leading regional contractor, R G Carter, are working with Mikhail Riches on the construction of this housing development and were chosen for their high quality construction expertise, regional knowledge and as Passivhaus specialists. The company recently completed an award winning group of Passivhaus homes in Norfolk and continues to work on buildings in the region that showcase this sustainable technology and demonstrate the skills required to deliver it successfully. R G Carter has invested in additional training for its employees and now has more directly-employed Certified Passivhaus tradespeople than any other single company in the UK.
About the visit
There will be a joint presentation from architects Mikhail Riches; Associate James Turner and Project Architect Henry Wootton, with the client Andrew Turnbull of Norwich City Council and Geoff Hales Contracts Manager for the main contractor RG Carter.
The presentation of around 45 minutes including Q&A will be followed by a tour of the project lasting 1 hr including time for questions.
The scheme is being constructed in phases so delegates will be shown houses at all stages of development with some units completed and others in the later stages of construction. This is a second event and offers a tour of a near completed project but can provide an insight into the challenges of achieving Passivhaus at a large scale and ‘working’ examples of the issues experienced will be visible for discussion.
Timings, travel and PPE
- Meet by 13:00 with event running 13:00 - 15:30
- This is a working site and so we request that delegates bring appropriate PPE gear.
- Directions and parking - TBC.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of construction, the date of site visits may change if build schedules slip or the site is unsafe for visitors on planned dates. Please do not book non-refundable travel until joining instructions are confirmed. As much notice as possible will be given if dates do change.
This event is held in partnership with Mikhail Riches
With thanks to partners
Norwich, NR2 4QF
|Members of The Green Register / Passivhaus Trust||£ 19.00|