Whitwell Passivhaus, designed to the Passivhaus low energy standard by the architect for his family, is located in the conservation area of Whitwell village on the north shore of Rutland Water and the project employed consultants, constructors and suppliers drawn almost entirely from Leicestershire and Rutland.
This was the construction team’s first Passivhaus project. The building is very airtight and highly insulated with several layers of material, including recycled newspaper within the timber frame, so requiring very little energy for heating. Large windows in the southwest elevation provide heat from solar gain which is controlled by sensor operated blinds to prevent overheating. Renewable energy is generated though a photovoltaic array and a solar thermal panel and rainwater is collected in a 1,500 litre tank to provide water for garden irrigation.
Successful integration into the village was a major consideration of the design which, in form and external treatment, follows the vernacular of farm buildings in the area and achieves an appropriate scale using a mix of traditional and modern materials.