Touchwood Homes

Chiefs Farm Passivhaus

Chief’s Farm in Essex is a Passivhaus certified home built on a site that had been occupied by a derelict house that had stood vacant for many years.

Our contract included designing and installing the strip foundations using our thermal-bridge free detailing to create a very well performing foundation with minimal loss of heat to ground. As is critical for our foundations, the floor slab is powerfloat finished leaving a flat surface perfect for us to install our airtight frame on top, which is far superior to the traditional method of applying the floor screed later. The process for this floor install after trenches broadly were beam and block floor install, insulation, then slab on top:


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Beam and block floor install via crane Insulation installed on beam and block floor Reinforced slab installed over Power float finished slab ready for frame

Following straight on from the foundation, we began installing the timber frame structure which will be completed end of January, followed by the Touchwood designed Paul MVHR system – a critical component to an airtight home. The image below shows the duct route pre-cut in the floor cassette.


748TW Chiefs Farm ducts precut

Our unique build system allows duct work holes to be pre-cut in the frame, with the entire duct network thermally and acoustically modelled before installation – without this high tech approach there is a huge risk the duct work will not be installable within the floor cassette, forcing ugly boxed out sections. Without acoustic modelling, and subsequent installation of expensive silencers in the duct work, there is also the risk of cross talk between rooms – an unacceptable risk to save some cost on the ductwork.  


Peter Smithdale
Constructive individuals


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