Laura Facey

Member Article

Dust free eco-homes shortlisted for national accolade

A pioneering social housing development in Sunderland, consisting of some of the cheapest homes to run in the UK, was shortlisted for a national accolade at this year’s UK Passivhaus Trust Awards. Houghton-le-Spring’s Racecourse Estate, built by profit-for-purpose organisation Gentoo Group, was amongst stiff competition recently at an awards ceremony held at the Austrian Embassy in London.

Comprising of 28 bungalows, Gentoo’s highly energy efficient Passivhaus homes are amongst the cheapest to run in the UK with annual energy bills of approximately £100. An added benefit is they require very little cleaning due to their ‘air-tight’ structure and mechanical ventilation system prevent dust and drafts from entering the home.

In 2012, the development was the first large scale social housing development in the UK to gain formal Passivhaus accreditation via the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and has since won a series of regional and national awards for its innovation and design.

Peter Walls, Chief Executive of Gentoo Group said: “We are delighted that our groundbreaking Passivhaus development has been recognised by the UK Passivhaus Trust and are proud to be involved in low carbon construction.”

“With housing accounting for around 27% of the UK’s total carbon emissions and the continuing rise in the cost of domestic energy bills in the UK, it is hoped that our innovative approach to low carbon housing design will assist in the fight against fuel poverty and demonstrate to the sector that housing developments like Racecourse Estate can significantly contribute towards the UK’s carbon reduction targets.”

The Passivhaus construction concept, which was first developed in Germany during the early 1990s, is based on homes relying on solar gain, air tightness and super high standards of insulation. Occupants living in homes built to the Passivhaus standard benefit from excellent air quality, noise reduction, more comfortable living temperatures and extremely low energy bills.

Gentoo Group’s whole ethos is about believing nothing is impossible and finding new ways to challenge conventions, Gentoo aims to make society a better place to live and to make a real difference to the way people live their life. To find out more about Gentoo, visit for more information or follow @gentoogroup on Twitter.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Laura Facey .

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