- Building Type : Isolated or semi-detached house
- Construction Year : 2016
- Delivery year : 2017
- Address 1 - street : Old Holloway Cottage HR2 8BA LITTLE BIRCH, United Kingdom
- Climate zone : [Cfb] Marine Mild Winter, warm summer, no dry season.
- Net Floor Area : 95 m2
- Construction/refurbishment cost : 150 000 €
- Cost/m2 : 1578.95 €/m2
Primary energy need :
(Calculation method : Primary energy needs )
Old Holloway is a private single family house in rural Herefordshire. It's a simple, modest, single storey dwelling with pitched roof and south facing verandah, sympathetic to local vernacular architecture.
Old Holloway was the first UK application of Ecococon timber/ straw prefabricated panel system (also a passivhaus certified component). Prefabrication allowed for rapid and accurate construction (example: external walls were erected in three days and the whole house watertight in four weeks). Simple and robust detailing and airtightness strategies, suitable for self-build construction, were adopted. Ecococon system provides a healthy, high performing construction system, with very low environmental impact.
Old Holloway was the Small Projects winner at 2018 Passivhaus Trust Awards and runner-up at 2019 ASBP Awards
See more details about this projecthttps://oldholloway.wordpress.com
3rd part certified
Owner approach of sustainability
Our aim was to live in a modest, affordable and healthy home. We wanted to build with biobased materials as far as possible. This is our first 'self build' project, it was a great experience getting directly involved in commissioning, design, project management and some of the construction of our house.
The dwelling has a flexible layout, it can be used as a two bedroom house plus office or a three bedroom house. Central open plan living room/ kitchen/ dining has a direct access to external decking via a large sliding door.
Open cathedral ceilings provide a sense of generous internal space with small external impact. Extended roof overhang to south (verandah) provides shelter and useful summer shading. Windows are optimised for views and daylighting. Corrugated metal roof and locally sourced charred cedar cladding are the two key external finishes.
Old Holloway is the first UK application of Ecococon timber/ straw prefabricated panel system (also a passivhaus certified component). Prefabrication allowed for rapid and accurate construction (example: external walls were erected in three days and the whole house watertight in four weeks). Simple and robust detailing and airtightness strategies, suitable for self-build construction, were adopted. Ecococon system provides a healthy, high performing construction system, with very low environmental impact.
Key materials and finishes
Exposed ground and sealed concrete slab
Self-finished clay plaster walls (no paints applied)
Timber cladding: local cedar charred on site
Corrugated metal roofing – local and very economical
If you had to do it again?
If we did the project again, we would give further consideration to the choice of material for foundations. The embodied carbon in concrete is high and there are some good alternatives available. We would also probably not install the wood stove, as we don't really use it very often, the capital could instead be spent on renewable technologies such as PV panels.
Building users opinion
The house has been a delight to live in since it was completed nearly 4 years ago. It it really easy to live with and a contrast to the previous home, which was uninsulated stone cottage. Being a passivhaus the energy demand for heating is very small. At the same time, the quality of internal air is excellent all year round thanks to the central ventilation system with heat recovery (there's automatic summer bypass). CO2 levels generally stay below 800ppm and air 'feels' fresh due to minimum amount of VOCs in the interior. Temperature is very stable, during winter it goes down to about 18C and never goes above 25C in summer, even during the heatwaves. Internal relative humidity is between 40-60%. The house is well daylit, generally there is no need to put the lights on during the day. Acoustics are excellent, will low levels of reverberation thanks to hit & miss batten ceiling in the main living space. Textured clay plasters on walls also help reduce the echo effect.
- 89,00 kWhpe/m2.year
- 89,00 kWhpe/m2.year
- 89,00 kWhfe/m2.year
- 0,13 W.m-2.K-1
- 0,40 Blower door test
Real final energy consumption
- Heat pump
- Wood boiler
- Heat pump
- No cooling system
- Double flow heat exchanger
- No renewable energy systems
- 75,00 %
- 16,50 KgCO2/m2/year
- 100,00 year(s)
- 110,00 m3
Indoor Air quality
Health & Comfort
Structural work / Structure - Masonry - Facade
Prefabricated straw/ timber panel system. Highly efficient, it is a certified passivhaus component, also has Cradle to Cradle certification. Approximate cost 150 Euro/m2 of wall
Very enthusiastic about the product, it was the first application of the system in UK
Plot is at the end of existing village. There is a bus stop nearby, connecting the village to the nearest town of Hereford. Plot is also within cycling distance to place of work and the nearest town.
Land plot area
1 350,00 m2
private drive with flexible parking spaces (1 car in the household only)
Health & Comfort: the building uses materials which are predominantly biobased, such as timber, straw and clay plasters. Most of internal walls are unpainted self finished clay plaster. Low VOC paints have been used for some ceilings. Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery maintains an excellent indoor air quality whilst minimising heat loss in winter.
Energy & Temperate climates: passivhaus certification means the house has very small heating demand, monitoring over the last 4 years confirmed average space heating demand of approximately 12kWh/m2.a. Overall annual electricity consumption is approximately 4500kWh
Low carbon: the house is built predominantly with low carbon materials such as timber, straw, recycled cellulose and clay. Ecococon prefabricated straw panel system is Cradle to Cradle certified.