Hillside & Woodlands

Passivhaus Housing Site

Passivhaus development at Barberry Close, Exeter for Exeter City Council

Working with Bouygues as Contractor Developer, Gale & Snowden was appointed to develop a feasibility study for housing on a brownfield site in Plymouth.  Building on the success of their previous Passivhaus developments, Gale & Snowden sought to orientate the proposed housing to follow site contours and for optimum, south-facing elevations.  Principle living spaces enjoy controlled solar gains and access into sunny gardens without overheating in internal spaces.


The principle design characteristics informing the site layout were to optimise solar orientation whilst maximising terracing to create compact building forms and thus cost effective, easy to build Passivhaus delivery.  Units would be designed to be ready for future climate change and fuel poverty would be tackled through the achievement of very low heating bills and affordable warmth. 


Material selection and specification would be based on Building Biology principles to create healthy indoor living environments incorporating: low VOC, natural, hygroscopic materials; high air quality; high water quality; and low electromagnetic radiation design.  Daylight design would be optimised throughout.


An integral part of the scheme would be edible and useful landscapes based on Permaculture principles, enhancing biodiversity through retained and improved wildlife corridors and links with existing ecology.  Play areas and Homezones would be integrated to build and strengthen communities.