Passivhaus Trust Open Days

Last few days to book to visit Warksburn Old Church – Friday 28 June to Sunday 30 June 2024

Warksburn Old Church is delighted to be hosting a Passivhaus Trust “open day” event at the end of June 2024. This will be a never-to-be-repeated opportunity to see the building works in progress before the project is completed in July 2024.

Attendance at the event is free, but it is essential to reserve a ticket in advance. Please click the image above, or the button below, to book your spot. It will take you to the Eventbrite booking engine, where more details about the event are available.

You can visit the Passivhaus Trust web page about the Open Days event here.

Big News at Grand Designs Live

Warksburn Old Church massively beats key Passivhaus benchmark!

It was a great privilege to present an in-depth progress report on our globally unique project to convert a former church to a domestic space to Passivhaus standards for airtightness, insulation and ultra energy efficiency.

It was a pleasure to share the stage with Channel 4 Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud and his fellow property expert, writer & broadcaster, Kunle Barker.

Alan tells the story of Sir George Barclay Bruce – the original funder of the building & Victorian Net Zero visionary

Appearing on the main stage, Alan was delighted to be able to reveal the news that Warksburn Old Church has now received its formal airtightness certificate, a key requirement for Passivhaus certification. We are delighted not just to have met the required standard, but to have smashed it out of the park.

A little background is helpful. The value which was measured is Air Changes Per Hour (ACH). This is a measure of how many times the total cubic volume of air inside a building will be exchanged with air from outside the building, in a single hour. Obviously, the higher the ACH number, the less airtight a building is. And the less airtight it is, the more it carbon and money it will cost to heat, because all the energy expended to heat the interior is wasted, when the heated air leaks out to the outside world.

  • A typical ‘ordinary’ UK house is relatively inefficient, with values typically between around 10 and 15 ACH, depending on the type of construction and the era of the building.
  • The required standard for a Passivhaus retrofit of an existing building is 1 ACH, which is, of course, between 10 and 15 times better than typical UK housing stock.
  • Given the complexity of making an 1875 building airtight, whilst preserving its key heritage features, we would have been delighted to hit the ultra-demanding standard for a new build Passivhaus. This is 0.6 ACH or lower.
  • We were therefore simply blown away when Ian Ritchie, the independent expert from specialist airtightness testers Ritchie & Ritchie, confirmed Warksburn Old Church had achieved 0.19 ACH. That translates as around 52 to 79 times more efficient than typical UK legacy housing stock.

Coupled with Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) system now being installed, and the multiple layers of super-insulation built in to the floor, walls, roof, windows. and doors, this astounding airtightness result will enable Warksburn Old Church to operate as one of the most energy efficient buildings in the UK.

Achieving 0.19 ACH is testimony to the extraordinary and painstaking attention to detail which our lead contractor, David Reed, and his team have put in to the job. The image below shows the moment all their hard work was officially recognised, as Ian Ritchie delivered his verdict. A true milestone moment in the life of the building.

Airtightness test by Ian Ritchie – Amazing 0.19 ACH result captured by the on-site film crew

Warksburn Old Church at Grand Designs Live

We are delighted that our unique project to convert an 1875 church to 2024 Passivhaus standards will be featured at the Grand Designs Live show at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London on 07 May 2024.

Alan will feature on the Main Stage, hosted by Kevin McCloud. He will give an in-depth presentation on Warksburn Old Church, entitled “A 19th Century sustainability vision and the 21st Century Passivhaus project bringing it to life.”

Details of the presentation are here. For full details about the event, please visit Grand Designs Live.