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Richardson & Peat Passive House Wins Country Environment Award

Martin Peat | August 3, 2017

Specialist building contractors, Richardson & Peat, earned a Sussex Heritage Trust award for constructing a stunning six-bedroom private property which exceeded Passive House standards for airtightness.

The company, based in Shefford, Bedfordshire was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Trust’s Small Scale Residential Award category for its work at the house in Mayfield, East Sussex. The award recognises new-build properties which preserve or enhance conservation areas, brownfield sites or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The three-storey Mayfield property, designed by architect James Galpin of Hazle McCormack Young LLP, who also earned the commendation from the Rt Hon Lord Egremont, DL, set a benchmark for low-energy in-use by passing certification at the highest level from the Passive House institute in Germany.

Martin Peat, Commercial Director at Richardson & Peat, said: “This award is wonderful recognition for the construction work carried out by our experienced on-site team and James Galpin’s superb design skills. It was a true team effort and a pleasure to be involved in such a potentially challenging, but thoroughly rewarding project.”

Despite the complexities of building a Passive House home, it took Richardson & Peat just eight months to complete the project to the client’s full satisfaction. It involved the demolition of an existing property to make way for the new timber-frame build. To achieve the desired airtight performance, 450mm thick walls were created by Richardson & Peat at the company’s offsite manufacturing facility. Highly-insulated floors and a Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) system were also installed, along with exterior larch-cladding, triple-glazed windows and interior low-energy lighting, adding to the home’s energy-efficiency. 

Tests showed the completed building achieved an N50 value airtightness level of 0.4 air changes per hour, which compares favourably to the Passive House standard of 0.6 air changes per hour. 

Martin Peat added: “We are specialists in the building of low-energy properties, so to be able to deliver what we believe is the first certified Passive House home in East Sussex instilled a real sense of pride and achievement.”