The Carrowbreck Meadow design combines local ‘barn’ vernacular with a contemporary twist and incorporates simple black and white materials palette. The homes were designed to sit comfortably in their woodland setting and were positioned to take advantage of solar energy throughout the seasons.
Fourteen new dwellings were developed over 12 months- 8 detached and 6 semidetached - which were designed using the Passivhaus principles to build houses with cost effective, long term energy performance. To help achieve this Porotherm, Wienerberger’s innovative clay block walling system, was specified.
The project was commissioned by Norwich city council to promote the Passivhaus standard, which is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the UK. The Passivhaus standard aims to promote the building of houses that have both an excellent thermal performance and exceptional airtightness with mechanical ventilation.
It marks a point at which the local authority were beginning to invest directly in quality local housing, having chosen to invest in a quality, high standard of energy efficiency.
The Porotherm system was specified for the project as an efficient alternative to traditional building materials such as timber, concrete or light steel frames. The ability to achieve the level of thermal efficiency and airtightness required for Passivhaus certification was one of the key considerations. The system helped to achieve a thermal bridge and draught free building envelope, which exceeds building regulation requirements for airtightness five times over.
Porotherm was also considered because of its environmentally friendly and long-lasting properties, with a long life expectancy of more than 150 years. It is a stronger, safer and much faster system and allows for direct labour to be used, enabling greater control of costs and an increase in efficiency.
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