So who should be interested in the open day?
The Passivhaus Open Days are run to help the public gain a better appreciation about what it is like to experience living in a Passivhaus. Whether you are looking to build a new home, or refurbish an existing one, this event should be of interest to you.
In short if you are looking to build a new home, or refurbish an existing one and want to start a building project within the next 12 to 18 months then this is an event that you shouldn't miss.
....but why is the Passivhaus Open Day important, and why should you come?
Whilst it may sound a little over dramatic it is actually fair to say that...
...The UK Homebuilding Industry is in Crisis
Over the last 20 years studies by Leeds Beckett University have shown that new homes are not performing correctly. They use more energy than they should, are less comfortable and pose a risk to your health and well being. This means that when hiring an architect or a builder you and your family may not be getting the quality that you are paying for.
Luckily Leeds Beckett University have also found that with the correct design and construction these performance issues can be addressed.
The research suggests that many of the lessons for addressing the homebuilding crisis can be found in homes built to the Passivhaus Standard.
The Passivhaus Standard is the world's leading quality assurance standard for ultra low energy buildings. It is the pinnacle of best practice. The decision to construct a well executed home that satisfies this standard presents a number of benefits and opportunities. These include:
1. Reducing space heating bills by 90% as compared to the average home
2. Reducing hot water bills by 50% through the use of appropriate plumbing design, taps and appliances
3. How the fossil fuel used for domestic hot water was cut by 80% when we combined water efficiency with solar thermal panels
4. Providing a strategy for reducing electrical energy use by over 50%
5. Providing excellent standards of thermal comfort with little recourse for space heating
6. Addressing the health and well being of the occupants by providing homes that are appropriately ventilated whilst keeping noise levels to a minimum. This includes reducing the risk of asthma attacks, reduced incidence of hay fever and other allergies and, the thing that surprised me most, reduced pain from arthritis.
7. Reduced risk of mould growth and cold spots. This not only extends the life of building components but also protects the health of the occupants.
8. Increasing resilience to rising fuel prices and prices fluctuations in a robust manner - thereby minimising, if not mitigating, the risk of fuel poverty in the future
9. Conserving fossil fuels for future generations
10. Cutting carbon emissions which is good for the environment and our kids.
Whether you are looking to build a new home, or refurbish an existing one, this event should be of interest to you.
My Personal Mission
For the last 13 years or so, since I learned about the homebuilding crisis, I have been assisting with the transformation of the construction industry. I've delivered training to professions and students and, of course, I've completed building projects.
Over the years I've found that the best way to transform the construction industry is to create change from within. And that means by getting more cutting edge projects out there to stimulate debate and show how things can be done differently!
It is for this reason, and because of some lessons learned from earlier open day events, that I'm trying something different.
This Year There Is A Qualification Process
Within the construction industry self-builders, retrofitters and ethical property developers are known for spearheading better quality standards. This means they are the people that can benefit most from visiting a Passivhaus and learning how it was designed and built.
Sadly, because of the first-come-first-served policy I used in the past, some of self-builders, retrofitters and ethical property developers got turned away from the open days - even though they were actively wanting to complete a worthwile project.
That's why I'm trailing a different kind of application process this year.
So, if you are a self-builder, retrofitter or an ethical property developer I consider it my duty to support you - whether or not you choose to work with me at some point in the future. Also, because of the Climate Emergency, I am supporting councillors and Durham County Council so that they can make more informed decisions when reviewing planning applications.
This year the focus of the Open Days is on people that have bought (or are about to buy) land and want to complete their project within the next 12 to 18 months.
Once the pro-active few have been given their chance see the house the remaining spaces will be allocated to regular members of the public that are simply interested (or not in a position) to move forward at this point in time.
I hope that sounds fair.
Here's what to do next:
Step 1: Enter your name and email address into the the registration form below. (When the time is right this will allow me to send you the 3 free videos and to send you more details should your application be accepted.)
Step 2: Please complete the short questionnaire. This will allow me to prioritise those people that can make the most difference and enable me to give them first option for visiting Steel Farm.
Qualifying visitors can bring a guest - however they must pre-register as well. Access is limited, so please pre-register early.
Step 3: After the 5th November I will confirm the dates and times of attendance, and I'll give you all the information that you need to get to the house on the day.