Suffolk Passive House

Passive House for Dave and Mabel Howorth, Onehouse, Suffolk 

Location: Onehouse, Suffolk
Timeframe: Built in 2014/15
Our Involvement: Consultancy
Floor area: 148m2
Construction Method: Two Storey Loadbearing Strawbale

Straw Works was asked to design this but refused due to our policy of never designing with cement. However, apart from the floor and foundations, it uses environmentally friendly materials – timber, straw and lime. Barbara Jones of Straw works was specialist consultant for this loadbearing design, and Straw Works ran training courses to build the walls, and also provided a specialist team to build the upper walls (before the School of Natural Building was formed to run the training side of things). The lime was spray applied, and forms the outer airtightness layer. There are no membranes covering the straw, but there are tapes around window and door openings that project into the plaster. 

Dave has to be applauded for his project management of the build – keeping to time and budget resulting in an exceptional house. It achieved an astonishing airtightness rating of 0.26 air changes/hour. It was featured in Passive House + issue 25 in 2018.