Exeter City Council (ECC) announces the start on site at Vaughan Road, Whipton, of 26 new one, and two-bedroom social housing apartments for people over the age of 60 in housing need.  Being built by multi-award winning builders C G Fry & Son, the scheme includes one wheelchair accessible unit, which will be let to someone with this specific need.  Planning consent was granted on 16 May 2016, following a period of consultation with the local residents and Ward Councillors, and completion is expected in September 2017.

Cllr. Keith Owen, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Housing Revenue Account, said: Older persons’ housing is important to assist with downsizing and freeing up much needed family accommodation. As with all Exeter City Council’s new build schemes, the focus is on creating exceptional standards of housing that are low energy and affordable for our tenants.”
Randall Simmonds are project managers on the scheme, which has been designed by architects Gale & Snowden to low energy Passivhaus Standard.
Phil Lewis – Project Manager, Randall Simmonds comments: “We are delighted to support and manage the construction of this Passivhaus development in Exeter. The scheme is an important residential development for the city and highlights the City Council’s bold strategy to create housing that reduces fuel poverty through innovative, quality design”.

Designed and built to the low energy Passivhaus Standard, means that the apartments will naturally have a very consistent and comfortable temperature and indoor air quality.  Heating bills will be about 10% of those in a ‘standard’ property, thus helping to lift the tenants out of any potential fuel poverty issues.  The designs have also been modelled to mitigate any future climate change using Exeter University’s Prometheus weather data up to 2080.

The new flats signify the latest and largest housing development that Gale & Snowden Architects has undertaken with Exeter City Council.  The Passivhaus scheme, incorporating Building Biology principles, marks almost ten years of teamwork, delivering low energy, healthy homes for Council tenants. The design represents the latest step in Gale & Snowden’s evolutionary approach to PassivHaus aimed at reducing costs, simplifying and speeding up construction, enhancing collaboration with the contractor, and optimising building performance for future climate scenarios.

Jonathan Barattini – Gale & Snowden said: “An holistic, innovative approach to the building fabric has resulted in a development that meets the stringent low-energy requirements of the PassivHaus Standard, whilst utilising healthy materials and strategies such as clay blocks, mineral render, and low-electromagnetic radiation design.  He adds:Gale & Snowden is extremely proud of its ongoing achievements with ECC.  This development will push the number of Passivhaus dwellings developed in collaboration with the City Council beyond 100.”

Mike Pinney, Contracting Director – C G Fry & Son concludes: “It’s very exciting for all of us at C G Fry & Son to be part of such a pioneering project and to work alongside Exeter City Housing on a third Passivhaus certified scheme. Building eco housing means that we are using ground-breaking technology and techniques, so we’re delighted to gain momentum in this field and that we will be working in partnership with Exeter City Housing on yet another Passivhaus project.”