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  • Writer's pictureTim Carter

Knossington Passive House

Any planning approval feels like a victory, but in the case of Knossington Passive House achieving the fine balance between the Conservation Officer’s stipulations and Passive House technical requirements within a contemporary vernacular makes the approval of this one-off home particularly rewarding.

Given the site was within a Conservation Area we thought it would be sensible to submit a pre application for what might be a contentious design. However, while appearing to appreciate and encourage our highly considered sustainable approach, the local authority’s recommendations would have severely compromised the underlying concept of the project. Blindly accepting this as the only route forwards would have resulted in us creating a pastiche, with small dormers and conservation roof lights (both of which are poor when considering heat loss and to the detriment of the Passive House standard); the antithesis of our client’s aspiration.

We see education as a significant part of our role: explaining what Passive House is, and how it achieves healthy, low energy homes. We visualised and demonstrated the reasons why the Local Authority’s generic list of comments would create a building which was to the detriment of the Conservation Area, and persevered with the Conservation and Case Officers to ensure the message was being understood. Through this dialogue we were able to overcome potential obstacles raised in the pre application, and win planning approval using our original concept.

We can take pride in our latest approval for a contemporary Passive House in a Conservation Area, but more importantly we are proud to have secured consent for our client, so together we can look forward to bringing their dream home and our vision to life.


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