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Building a greener future

With the climate change emergency at the forefront of everyone’s mind, at Pave Aways we’re using our skills to help our clients build a greener future.

We have just handed over the first ever Passivhaus school in Powys – the new Welshpool Church in Wales School – to Powys County Council and we are also building seven new homes in Sarn that will meet the same energy efficient standards for the authority.

The £1.3m development includes four two-bedroom bungalows, two two-bedroom and one three-bedroom houses.

Passvihaus is a method of advanced low-energy construction. It involves using high performance insulation and seals to make buildings draught free and to reduce the heat loss, thereby creating homes with a very low environmental impact. As well as the green credentials, it reduces energy bills, which tackles the very real issue of fuel poverty.

The strategy of Passivhaus is to utilise excess heat that is produced to warm the property. Excess heat is continuously generated from stale air in wet rooms such as kitchen and bathrooms and all electrical appliances and light bulbs.

It goes through the mechanical heat recovery unit where heat is transferred to the filtered incoming fresh air before being used to warm the habitable rooms such as living rooms and bedrooms. Each home also has 4.2 KW of photo voltaic panels on its roof that will generate electricity.

The most recent air test at the Sarn homes revealed a result of 0.28 air changes an hour, which actually exceeds Passivhaus requirements.

Managing Director Steven Owen said he was expecting more contracts to be designed and built to Passivhaus style standards in the coming years.

“Being able to work on these two projects has helped us to introduce these building methods to our teams and the sub contractors we work with, which is beneficial to the wider community.

“We are seeing more demand for low carbon and Passivhaus builds especially on large scale builds. The £8.44m contract we’re working on for Shropshire Council to increase primary school provision in north Shrewsbury, for example, is using innovative design and building methods to create a carbon neutral building as part of the council’s ambition to reduce its emissions to zero by 2030.”