Gale & Snowden | New PassivHaus flats adjacent to Rennes Tower

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Progress on-site for more Council homes in Exeter

Work on a  social housing scheme is progressing well on-site and the next generation of council-owned homes are being realised for a Local Authority in the South West.

Work commenced in September on 26 new flats in adjacent to Rennes Tower, Pinhoe, Exeter which signify the latest and largest housing development that Gale & Snowden Architects has undertaken with Exeter City Council (ECC).  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.

The four-storey development on Vaughan Road is being built by CG Fry with whom G&S worked on Reed Walk and Bevan House, two previous ECC housing schemes which were completed in 2015 and 2013 respectively.  Once complete, it will take the tally of G&S Passivhaus social housing units in Exeter over the 100 mark!

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Aerial image courtesy of Beton Bauen Limited
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26 Passivhaus flats for Exeter City Council Gale & Snowden Architects Ltd

Building on Gale & Snowden’s previous experience with Passivhaus, this project for Exeter City Council explores an alternative construction methodology based around monolithic clay external walls.  These large format blocks and thin bed mortar system allow for increased speed of construction and, once the homes are finished, the hygroscopic properties of the clay blocks buffer and moderate humidity levels providing a stable, healthy internal environment.

The scheme is due for completion in 2017.

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