Fox Barn

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Lower Chute | Open Saturday and Sunday
Fox Barn

Booking Essential Lower Chute Andover SP11 9DU

The first certified Passivhaus in Wiltshire. Detached Family home with predicted energy costs of £100 p.a

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The Story

For town planners Paul and Lisa Jackson, it started one bitter winter when they were faced with paying huge bills for heating oil. They had already decided to build their own home, but the original planning permission had not taken energy use into consideration. Lisa, a Code for Sustainable Homes assessor, researched the potential for a low energy building and they decided to build a Passivhaus. Being based in the Wessex Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it was also important for the house to fit sympathetically into its surroundings. They have now been in their new home for just over a year and are delighted that it has met all expectations. As well as the cost savings, the living experience is exceptional. The house is light, with excellent air quality, no draughts and a consistent temperature of 20-21°C. As Lisa comments, “Why would one want to build any other way?” 

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The Home

Design and materials: This is a certified Passivhaus, the first in Wiltshire. The Passivhaus aim is to dramatically reduce the requirement for space heating and cooling, while creating comfortable homes with good air quality. A central principle is “fabric first” with high levels of insulation, air tightness and attention to detail in construction. It was built by Touchwood Homes, using a timber frame, pre-cut off site.

Insulation: Warmcel (recycled newspaper). The house faces South to make the most of solar gain. 

Windows and doors: Triple glazed from Rationel

Heating, ventilation and hot water: The Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) unit is a Paul Novus 300. The ducting plan was pre-cut into the frame. No heating is required and the house is designed to maintain a constant temperature of 20-21°C, except in extreme conditions, when it is minus 10°C or less outside. There is a low output room-sealed woodburning stove in the living room for this eventuality and for the pleasure of a wood fire. Hot water is provided by 5m2 of solar thermal panels, supplemented by 2 x 3kW electric immersion heaters.

Lighting, appliances and electricity generation: All lighting is LEDs. Solar Century photovoltaic slates (3.6kWp) have been used on the garage.

Energy saving

The Jacksons moved in to their new home in April 2013, and the finishing touches are still being completed. It is not yet possible to provide details of energy use during the first year, but energy running costs are expected to be around £100. 

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