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150 very low energy homes planned for Kingstone in Herefordshire

A planning application has been lodged for 150 very low energy homes in the village of Kingstone in Herefordshire by the developer Architype. The application, if accepted, would be the largest very low carbon development in the country.

Plans are based on the German PassivHaus construction techniques which deliver highly efficient homes requiring minimal energy for heating and cooling.

The design, layout, massing and density of the housing development will be a step change to current developer practices, as the requirements of PassivHaus style developments require a Southerly orientation with the long axis of the building faces N/S to maximize available daylight and reduce glare for living areas. Also where practical, eliminate east and particularly west facing glazing, keep room depths shallow for good day light penetration, increase natural light through bigger/higher  window openings and plan higher than average building densities. 

Delivering very low energy buildings is  becoming a more popular method of development as more developers are realising any additional cost associated with the build can be managed and offset by higher sales premiums. Offering customers utility bills of 5 to 10 times less than a standard dwelling is becoming a powerful marketing message. 

Architype also reports that Herefordshire Council’s Draft Core Strategy (March 2013) encourages Passivhaus and states ‘Developments that achieve ‘Passivhaus’ accreditation will be encouraged, where there will be no significant landscape, townscape or visual impact”.

The Core Strategy is a key document in the Local Plan, which shapes future development and sets the overall strategic planning framework for the county. It sets a clear vision, closely aligned with the Herefordshire Sustainable Community Strategy (June 2010) as to how the county should look and function and how development needs will be met up to 2031.

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