- Building Type : Isolated or semi-detached house
- Construction Year : 2013
- Delivery year : 2013
- Address 1 - street : NE47 8JP WHITFIELD, United Kingdom
- Climate zone : [Cfb] Marine Mild Winter, warm summer, no dry season.
- Net Floor Area : 151 m2
- Construction/refurbishment cost : 1 567 €
- Cost/m2 : 10.38 €/m2
Primary energy need :
(Calculation method : Other )
Steel Farm is located near Hexham in the North Pennine Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB). Built using traditional construction technology it is the first Certified Passivhaus in Northumberland.
As organic farmers they owned a plot of land where they dreamt of building a comfortable, low energy home that could accommodate them in their old age and minimise their impact upon the environment. They longed to build their own sustainable low energy home so that family could come and stay. (In the winter of 2011 Trevor and Judith Gospel were renting a small, gloomy bothy. That bitterly cold winter they found that the inside of their fridge was warmer than the living room.)
The remote rural location, limited access to utility mains, and onerous planning restrictions incurred significant costs and strongly influenced design. A number of conditions imposed by the local planning department increased costs and nearly prevented the Gospel’s from building their dream home. The house features a solar thermal system for domestic hot water and a reed bed system for the treatment of foul waste water. AECB Water Standards informed the design also.
Delicate negotiations were undertaken to demonstrate the value that the project had to offer the local and regional economy, and the environment. They also saw the removal of a requirement to provide tabling and two chimneys. Ultimately all of these criteria were fulfilled without compromising the client’s desire to achieve the Passivhaus standards of performance.
Planning permission was received in September 2011. Construction commenced in June 2012 and was completed in February 2013.
Trevor and Judith now live in their spacious new, home. The walls are washed with natural daylight and the windows frame views of the rolling hills (allowing surveillance of the livestock). The lights are rarely used.
A three part documentary series about the project is available at www.PassivhausSecrets.co.uk
See more details about this projecthttp://www.PassivhausSecrets.co.uk
DesignerLEAP Mark Siddall Architect and Passivhaus Designer
If you had to do it again?
Definitely train the site trades before starting on site. We did and risk was reduced significantly.
Building users opinion
Trevor Gospel "The construction of our new home has been a real adventure; challenging at times but, all in all, well worth the wait. Both Mark and Joe have met and exceeded our expectations. We had a limited budget and stuck to it. I don't think that we could have been in safer hands."
Judith Gospel “In our old accommodation, a winter or two ago, 2011 I think, we measured the temperature of the fridge and the living room. At one point it was warmer in the fridge! More than the savings in the energy bills and the reduced environmental impact, we are enjoying the comfort of our new home."
- 85,00 kWhpe/m2.year
- 220,00 kWhpe/m2.year
- 0,10 W.m-2.K-1
The precise amount of electrical energy used by the house can not be determined because the electric meter is used for the whole farm.
Real final energy consumption
3 649,00 kWhfe/m2.year
- Condensing gas boiler
- Condensing gas boiler
- Solar Thermal
- No cooling system
- Double flow heat exchanger
- Solar Thermal
- 40,00 %
- 1 250,00 m2
- 15,00 %
Indoor Air quality
Reasons for participating in the competition(s)
Energy Consumption Data:
- 6 cylinders of LPG were used in the 12 months between March 2013 and February 2014 (08.03.13-07.03.14). There was 3649 kWh/yr (24 kWh/m2/yr) of energy used.
- The average North East space heating and hot water demand, for a house similar in size to Steel Farm, is estimated to be about 25,345 kWh/yr. In practice Steel Farm demonstrates an 85% reduction in energy demand.
- The house run on LPG using 47kg cylinders fed to a condensing boiler that has been converted to LPG.
- Predicted energy demand PHPP 39.6 kWh/m2.yr (based upon 4.3 occupants), 26.2 kWh/m2.yr (based upon 2 occupants and adjusted to 19C as monitored.
- The cost of LPG is £65 per 47kg cylinder (10.68p/kWh)
- 6 cylinders of LPG were used over 12 months (08.03.13-07.03.14). Approximate energy usage 3649 kWh/yr (24 kWh/m2/yr).
- The cost of heating the home using LPG was £395/year.
- Comparison to mains gas: A standing charge for mains gas is 19.55p/day (£71.36/year). 3649 kWh/yr at 0.03569 £/kWh = £130.25/yr. Mains gas supply would cost £202/yr. So if mains gas was available the heating bill could be reduced by 80%, a saving of £768/yr.
As an active farm the electricity meter issued to measure both the supply of the farm equipment and lighting as well as the household. The client determined that the cost of sub-metering was determined to be an extra, unwarranted expense.
Internal Environment Data:
Trevor and Judith have stated that the home is very comfortable. Temperature sensors have been installed in the home in order to gain greater insight into Trevor and Judith’s response to living in the home.
- Average Temp Over the Year 20.3C
- Average Whole House Internal Temperature 18.5C
- Average External Temperature 5C
- RH Average 51%
- Average Maximum Internal Temperature 23C, Average Maximum External Temperature 15C,
- Average Maximum Internal Temperature 24.7C, Average Maximum External Temperature 23C
- RH Average 55%
Vital Stats: Overheating Risk Assessment
- The Peak daily temperature was less than 25C for 95% of the year
- When the Peak Internal Temperature of 31C occurred the Peak External Temperature was 28C (considered to be due to high solar gains)
- When the Peak External Temperature reached 35C the Peak Internal Temperature was 29C.
Statement of Design Intent
As farmers Trevor and Judith Gospel recognise that they are custodians of the land.
The rolling landscape of Northumberland is a jewel in the crown of the North East. Just as a precious stone compliments the band of a ring they wanted their home to compliment an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
They wanted the patina of time to enrich their home and the character of the house to develop over decades. Its purpose being to respond to, enrich and evoke a sense of place.
Yet they did not want a traditional house. Nor did they want a home that was alien to its setting. They wanted a characterful home that is harmonious yet distinctive, memorable, unique and meaningful.
Steel Farm comes from the earth. The sun kissed walls are natural stone drawn from the quarry nearest to the site. The roof is Cumbrian slate. Details beguilingly appear to echo traditional design, yet in practice radically reinterpret the past.
Inside the house daylight washes the interior as the windows are positioned, sized and proportioned to carefully frame views across the land and toward the fields where sheep roam freely beneath dramatic skies.
Watch the full documentary about the design and performance of Steel Farm at www.PassivhausSecrets.co.uk