May 16, 2023

Passivhaus Energy Efficient Houses Should be Industry Standard

WITH Northern Ireland’s Climate Act stipulating that it must reduce emissions by 48% by 2030, substantial change is required in how Northern Ireland constructs and heats new housing developments. Local property developer, Fraser Millar is championing the cause for certified energy efficient homes and says Northern Ireland can do much better.

The Belfast-based construction company is the first large scale residential housing developer in Northern Ireland to create ‘Passivhaus’ certified energy efficient homes with its flagship Lancaster Park development in South Belfast.

The Scottish government will be introducing legislation in 2024 for all new housing in Scotland to be built to the design criteria of the Passivhaus standard and Fraser Millar recently hosted a fact-finding visit by Edinburgh City Council to Lancaster Park where they viewed the ground breaking Passivhaus properties and the cutting edge technology that is used in construction.

Lancaster Park, Cairnshill, Belfast have adopted the ‘Passivhaus’ LEB principles, and as such Fraser Millar is building environmentally friendly, ultra-low energy homes which will help Northern Ireland meet its targets.

‘Passivhaus’ stands for quality, energy efficiency and comfort, with its houses requiring little energy to achieve a comfortable temperature all year round. It achieves this by adopting five key principles to include, eliminating thermal bridging, superior triple glazed windows and doors, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery that improves air quality, high specification insulation and airtight construction to prevent heat loss. These pioneering new homes also feature PV solar panels as standard and have access to EV charging points and an additional battery storage option.

Fraser Millar is also confident that this internationally recognised building standard can be used to deliver a wide range of housing options, not just in the private housing market but in the social housing sector to help create a solution of energy efficient, safe and comfortable housing for all.

Charles Millar, Director of Fraser Millar said, “Northern Ireland has been slow to adapt to passive housing. Scotland is introducing legislation that all new builds must be built using passive housing principles, which ensures they are building to the highest energy-efficiency standards possible and that those standards are verified during the building process so that residents can be assured of the quality of their homes.

“As our development Lancaster Park shows, we believe this style of housing can be adopted for new builds throughout Northern Ireland as a realistic, energy solution for building whilst not compromising on style and comfort.

“Our houses are specifically designed to provide a modern, healthy living environment for our home buyers. Passive housing enables homeowners to better control their energy and help future proof their homes. We are also very pleased that we are helping NI achieve its 2030 goal by eradicating the need for gas or oil boilers in our developments.

“The recent news by NIE Networks of a £3Bn investment into the infrastructure to facilitate Northern Ireland’s net zero carbon future is to be welcomed. To help Northern Ireland achieve its net zero requirements, we need to work together across all sectors to help provide solutions. At Fraser Millar we hope to continue to lead the way creating ‘Passivhaus’ homes and hope we encourage others to follow this path.”

Fraser Millar, the developers of this £70m housing development, have already won a number of awards for Lancaster Park. It is the largest ‘Passivhaus’ developer led residential housing project in the UK and Ireland and one of the few to achieve EPC A Rating. The development is garnering significant attention from prospective buyers following the release of further houses onto the market.

Family-run business Fraser Millar was winner of the Climate Company of the Year award, Belfast Telegraph Property Awards 2022. Lancaster Park has been awarded Property Pal Green Development of the Year 2022.