Exeter students explore innovative housing project

The development of 26 new one and two-bedroom apartments for people over the age of 60, is being built by CG Fry & Son on behalf of Exeter City Council, on Council owned land adjacent to Rennes House off Vaughan Road.
Designed and built to the low energy Passivhaus Standard, the apartments will have a very consistent and comfortable temperature and indoor air quality. Heating bills will be about 10% of those in a ‘standard’ property, thus helping to lift the tenants out of any potential fuel poverty issues. The designs have also been modelled to mitigate against predicted future climate change using Exeter University’s Prometheus weather data up to 2080.
The new flats signify the latest and largest housing development that Gale & Snowden Architects has undertaken with Exeter City Council. The Passivhaus scheme, incorporating Building Biology principles, marks ten years of teamwork, delivering low energy, healthy homes for Council tenants. The design represents the latest step in Gale & Snowden’s evolutionary approach to Passivhaus aimed at reducing costs, simplifying and speeding up construction, enhancing collaboration with the contractor, and optimising building performance for future climate scenarios.

Jonathan Barattini of Gale & Snowden Architects said: “An holistic, innovative approach to the building fabric has resulted in a development that meets the stringent low-energy requirements of the Passivhaus Standard, whilst utilising healthy materials and strategies such as clay blocks, mineral render, and low-electromagnetic radiation design. Gale & Snowden is extremely proud of its ongoing achievements with ECC. This development will push the number of Passivhaus dwellings developed in collaboration with the City Council beyond 100. It was fantastic to show the students around Rennes House and help them learn more about the different techniques we’re using to develop these healthy, energy efficient homes.”
The Construction team at C G Fry & Son, Gale & Snowden and Project Managers Randall Simmonds took the students on a tour round site.
David Gifford, Programme Leader for Professional Construction Studies at Exeter College, said: “This was a great way to get the next generation of builders involved with low-energy homes. I’d like to thank the project team for taking the time to talk to us.
“We enjoyed learning directly from the team about how a home is created to the Passivhaus criteria and this innovative approach to building homes.”
George Richards, Site Manager for CG Fry & Son, said: “It was fantastic to see so many young people really engaging on site and asking some interesting questions.