The Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP), a joint venture between Cambridge City Council and Hill Investment Partnerships, has been given planning permission for the first ‘Passivhaus’ council house scheme in Cambridge.

The scheme, located at 71-73 Fen Road will entail 12 low carbon homes for local families, with eight two-bedroom, two three-bedroom houses, and one wheelchair adapted three-bedroom house.

Cllr Mike Todd-Jones, executive councillor for housing at Cambridge City Council and CIP board member said, “We are delighted to achieve planning to pilot the first ‘Passivhaus’ council homes in Cambridge which will bring much needed new family council rented homes for those on our housing register, including specialist adapted family housing. These homes will be delivered to a very high standard of environmental sustainability and will also contribute towards our goal to be a zero net carbon council in the coming years.”

CIP has worked with architect firm Pollard Thomas Edwards, The Environment Partnership and Carter Jonas on the scheme. The homes will have very low energy use and low heating costs and will be fabricated off-site using timber frame systems.

Tom Hill, regional director for Hill said “This is a significant milestone for our Partnership as we bring forward the first pilot ‘Passivhaus’ council homes in Cambridge. The aim of this pilot scheme is to allow us to explore the delivery of cost-efficient low carbon housing for the future in terms of up-front building costs, ongoing maintenance costs for as the Council and low bills for residents.”

The site is currently disused and features two existing single-storey buildings, both of which were used previously as an assisted living facility, both of which are now in a state of disrepair.

The scheme will also incorporate green access to the scheme, both by bike and on foot, and will have direct access routes to the Five Trees open space. Other features of the development will include electric vehicle charging points and generous cycle parking.

Passivhaus buildings typically can achieve a 75 per cent reduction in space and heating requirements compared with regular new UK homes and aim to help the industry achieve its 80 per cent carbon reduction target, set by the UK government.

At present, CIP is a year ahead of its initial target of delivering 500 council homes by March 2022, including the first Passivhaus scheme in Cambridge.

Image source- Passivhaus Trust

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