Hamlet of 14 homes built to Passivhaus standards

Rural vernacular meets Passivhaus at Carrowbreck Meadow in Norfolk.
Rural vernacular meets Passivhaus at Carrowbreck Meadow in Norfolk.

Carrowbreck Meadow Passivhaus development, Hellesdon, Norfolk 
Hamson Barron Smith for Broadland Growth

This hamlet is a fine example of joined-up thinking by a rural local authority. Carrowbreck Meadow is a development of 14 homes built and certified to the Passivhaus standard, thus operating at an exemplary and, importantly, measurable level of energy efficiency. They are a mix of two, three and four bed houses (semi-detached and detached), and sold either on a shared equity or open market basis.

Built at the point where the north-western suburbs of Norwich give way to countryside, the aesthetic is a contemporary interpretation of a Norfolk barn-style vernacular, focusing on clean lines and a simple material palette, while respecting the wooded location in both form and development layout.

The mechanism for delivery, local authority joint venture, meant that real energy went into achieving the aforementioned goals, while providing capital to feed into other similar ventures in the future. It also meant the development’s impact could be considered much more widely than on its immediate surroundings.

A number of people who have bought the shared equity properties have transferred from Broadland’s socially rented housing nearby. This is made affordable not only by the partially subsidised capital cost, but by the greatly reduced ongoing energy costs.


 

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